Caption: One of the large post exchanges (PX) at Ft. Hood, Texas. I've been there a few times.
Image credit: Michael Oh
The incident today at Ft. Hood in which twelve people lost their lives has had an unusually big impact on me. I use the word "unusually", because it involves no one I actually knew. Ft. Hood was a place I frequently visited on business during the '80s and '90s, and even as recently as three years ago, so it's hard to avoid feeling affected. Seeing pictures of the place in the CNN broadcast today was especially jarring - one picture showed barracks similar to the ones near the offices I often worked in. I saw a similar view daily for weeks at a time.
The incident occurred within half a mile of two places I sometimes worked. It's likely that some of the people I worked with were within earshot of it. Most were no doubt kept at their work sites for many hours extra due to the lockdown.
From reports, this appears to be an act of a single disturbed individual. We can mull over the lessons and implications later, but for now I just want to say that the people who work and live on Ft. Hood are in my thoughts, and to express condolences to the victims, their friends, and their families.