On Wednesday, April 2nd there was a deadly shooting at Fort Hood in Texas. Three people were killed and 16 were injured before the shooter, identified as Specialist Ivan Lopez, killed himself, reported CNN.com. Fort Hood is one of the largest posts in the world with 45,414 soldiers and 8,900 civilian employees, according to the Fort Hood website. This shooting shocked Americans and brought back horrific memories for many people as it was not too long ago in 2009 that another shooting had occurred leaving 13 dead and 32 injured. President Barack Obama was briefed on the news right away and told those at Fort Hood that he called for “his team to utilize every resource available to fully investigate the shooting,” according to CNN.com.
Officials stated Wednesday that the cause of the shooting was unknown at the time. Many theories came to surface that the soldier possible had behavioral and mental health issues from serving in Iraq and some even said that they would not rule out that an act of terrorism had occurred. Friday morning it was reported that the shooting might have occurred because of an altercation earlier in the week involving Ivan Lopez and other soldiers.
According to CNN.com, spokesperson Chris Grey stated that some of the soldiers involved in the altercation were victims in this weeks shooting. A sister of an injured soldier claimed that Lopez was in the base’s personnel office for a form requesting military permission for time off, but was told to come back later. It is claimed that Lopez did not like the response and came back opening fire. Chris Grey said at this time they still do not have a concrete motive.
America is famous for boasting about having a large army and high-grade technology, so why is it that we cannot detect security breaches or help soldiers who may have mental health issues? America spends more money each year on our military than any one else in the world. According to the Washington Post, “the United States spends far more than any other country on defense and security. Since 2001, the base defense budget has soared from $287 billion to $530 billion.” It seems that we would be able to help our soldiers by providing therapy and help keep others safe with the technology that we have especially on a home base. It is sad that soldiers are not getting the help that they need especially after deployment. The National Institute of Mental Health found that about one in four soldiers in the army suffer from at least one psychiatric disorder and one in ten have multiple disorders. It is sad to see that our country is not helping those who serve for our country. When we are not helping our soldiers it is inevitable that suicide will be committed or that a tragic event such as this shooting will happen, then our country is shocked by these events and quick to blame the soldier who commit these acts. America needs to invest in the health and safety of our soldiers, to not only protect them, but innocent bystanders as well.