Mike Cahill (Cameron Herald photo)
CAMERON (November 7, 2009)—Mike Cahill of Cameron was among the 13 people killed in a shooting rampage Thursday at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood, The Cameron Herald reported Thursday.
Cahill, 62, had just returned to work as a civilian physician’s assistant after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago, said his daughter Keely Vanacker.
"He survived that. He was getting back on track, and he gets killed by a gunman," Vanacker said.
Cahill helped treat soldiers returning from tours of duty or preparing for deployment.
Often, Vanacker said, Cahill would walk young soldiers where they needed to go, just to make sure they got the right treatment.
"He loved his patients, and his patients loved him," said Vanacker, 33, the oldest of Cahill's three adult children.
"He just felt his job was important."
Cahill, who was born in Spokane, Wash., had worked as a civilian contractor at Fort Hood for about four years, after jobs in rural health clinics and at Veterans Affairs hospitals.
He and his wife, Joleen, had been married 37 years.
Vanacker described her father as a gregarious man and a voracious reader who could talk for hours about any subject.
The family's typical Thanksgiving dinners ended with board games and long conversations over the table, said Vanacker, whose voice often cracked with emotion as she remembered her father.
"Now, who I am going to talk to?"
Families in towns and cities around the country are also grieving, after learning that loved ones died in the violence.
Other families have learned that loved ones were injured.
The bodies of the 13 who died have been flown to Dover, Del. for forensic autopsies, an official said Friday.
Among the victims are soldiers from both the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, said Maj. Gen. Charles Anderson, Commanding General of First Army Division West.
“These mobilized Soldiers are part of our family, as are their loved ones back home. We will work very closely with the leadership in their home states to ensure we do everything we can to care for our wounded and provide compassionate care and counseling to the loved ones of our fallen comrades,” Anderson said.
Fort Hood's Dead (Alphabetized by Last Name)
Mike Cahill, Cameron
Mike Cahill, 62, of Cameron was among the 13 people killed in a shooting rampage Thursday at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood. , Cahill, a civilian physician’s assistant, helped treat soldiers returning from tours of duty or preparing for deployment. Often, his daughter Keely Vanacker said, Cahill would walk young soldiers where they needed to go, just to make sure they got the right treatment. "He loved his patients, and his patients loved him," said Vanacker, 33, the oldest of Cahill's three adult children. "He just felt his job was important." Cahill, who was born in Spokane, Wash., had worked as a civilian contractor at Fort Hood for about four years, after jobs in rural health clinics and at Veterans Affairs hospitals. He and his wife, Joleen, had been married 37 years. Vanacker described her father as a gregarious man and a voracious reader who could talk for hours about any subject. The family's typical Thanksgiving dinners ended with board games and long conversations over the table, said Vanacker, whose voice often cracked with emotion as she remembered her father. "Now, who I am going to talk to?"
Major L. Eduardo Caraveo, Virginia
Major L. Eduardo Caraveo, 52, arrived in the United States in his teens from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, knowing very little English said his son, who’s also named Eduardo Caraveo. He earned his doctorate in psychology from the University of Arizona and worked with bilingual special-needs students at Tucson-area schools before entering private practice. His son told the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson that Caraveo arrived at Fort Hood on Wednesday and was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Eduardo Caraveo spoke to the newspaper from his mother's Tucson home. His father's Web site says he offered marriage seminars with a company based in Woodbridge, Va. He was assigned to the 467th Medical Detachment, Madison, Wis.
Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, Georgia
Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, 32, was helping train soldiers on how to help new veterans with paperwork and had felt safe on the Army post. "He was on a base," his wife, Marikay DeCrow, said in a telephone interview from the couple's home at Fort Gordon, Ga., where she hoped to be reunited with her husband once he finished his work at Fort Hood. "They should be safe there. They should be safe." His wife said she wanted everyone to know what a loving man he was. The DeCrows have a 13-year-old daughter, Kylah. "He was well loved by everyone," she said through sobs. "He was a loving father and husband and he will be missed by all." DeCrow's father, Daniel DeCrow, of Fulton, Ind., said his son graduated high school in Plymouth, Ind., and married his high school sweetheart that summer before joining the Army. The couple moved near Fort Gordon about five years ago, he said. About a year ago, his son was stationed in Korea for a year. When he returned to the U.S., the Army moved him to Fort Hood while he waited for a position to open up in Fort Gordon so he could move back with his wife and daughter, Daniel DeCrow said. DeCrow said he talked to his son last week to ask him how things were going at Fort Hood. "As usual, the last words out of my mouth to him were that I was proud of him," he said. "That's what I said to him every time - that I loved him and I was proud of what he was doing. I can carry that around in my heart." He was assigned to the 16th Signal Company, Fort Hood.
Capt. John Gaffaney, California
Capt. John Gaffaney, 56, was a psychiatric nurse who worked for San Diego County, Calif., for more than 20 years and had arrived at Fort Hood the day before the shooting to prepare for a deployment to Iraq. Gaffaney, who was born in Williston, N.D., had served in the Navy and later the California National Guard as a younger man, his family said. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he tried to sign up again for military service. Although the Army Reserves at first declined, he got the call about two years ago asking him to rejoin, said his close friend and co-worker Stephanie Powell. "He wanted to help the boys in Iraq and Afghanistan deal with the trauma of what they were seeing," Powell said. "He was an honorable man. He just wanted to serve in any way he can." His family described him as an avid baseball card collector and fan of the San Diego Padres who liked to read military novels and ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Gaffaney supervised a team of six social workers, including Powell, at the county's Adult Protective Services department. Ellen Schmeding, assistant deputy director for the county's Health and Human Services Agency, said Gaffaney was a strong leader. He is survived by a wife and a son. He was assigned to the 1908th Medical Company, Independence, Mo.
Spc. Frederick Greene, Tennessee
Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, Tenn., was assigned to the 16th Signal Company, Fort Hood, Texas.
Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, Oklahoma
Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, was among the 13 people killed Thursday at Fort Hood, family members in Oklahoma said. Gale Hunt of Frederick said Friday two uniformed soldiers came to her door at 11:30 p.m. Thursday to notify her of the death of her son. She said her son joined the military after graduation from Tipton High School, and had served three and a-half years, including a stint in Iraq. He was married two months ago. He was previously stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia. She described him as family-oriented and quiet and said he enjoyed video games. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade,
Sgt. Amy Krueger, Wisconsin
Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis., joined the Army after the 2001 terrorist attacks and had vowed to take on Osama bin Laden. Her mother, Jeri Krueger, says Amy Krueger had arrived at Fort Hood on Tuesday. She told the Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc, Wis., that her daughter was scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan in December. Jeri Krueger recalls telling her daughter that she could not take on bin Laden by herself. The mother recalls her daughter's response: "Watch me." Kiel High School Principal Dario Talerico told The Associated Press that Krueger graduated from the school in 1998 and had spoken at least once to local elementary school students about her career. Talerico says he remembers Amy Krueger as "a very good kid, who like most kids in a small town are just looking for what their next step in life was going to be and she chose the military. Once she got into the military, she really connected with that kind of lifestyle and was really proud to serve her country." She was assigned to the 467th Medical Company, Madison, Wis.
Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, Utah
Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, who was from the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan, Utah, chose to join the Army instead of going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to his uncle, Christopher Nemelka, who says, , "As a person, Aaron was as soft and kind and as gentle as they come, a sweetheart." He says that what he "loved about the kid was his independence of thought." Aaron Nemelka was the youngest of four children. His family says he was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in January. Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Lisa Olsen says Nemelka had enlisted in the Army in October 2008. He was assigned to the 510th
Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood.
Pfc. Michael Pearson, Illinois
Pfc. Michael Pearson, 21, of Bolingbrook, Ill. was one of the 13 people killed in the shooting rampage. Sheryll Pearson told the Chicago Tribune that she and her husband found out Thursday that their son was killed in the attack. She said her son joined the Army more than a year ago and was training to deactivate bombs. She said she and her husband received a call from their son's sergeant at Fort Hood. He told them their son had been shot three times, and an Army surgeon later called to say he had died. Sheryll Pearson says the loss has left the family "all very angry." Neighbor Jessica Koerber says the family has "lost their gem." She said Michael loved playing with his nieces and nephews and enjoyed playing guitar. She calls him "a great kid." He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood.
Capt. Russell Seager, Wisconsin
Capt. Russell Seager, 51, of Racine, Wis., was assigned to the 467th Medical Company, Madison, Wis.
Pvt. Francheska Velez, Illinois
Relatives say 21-year-old Francheska Velez of Chicago is among the 13 people killed when an Army psychiatrist opened fire. Her father, Juan Guillermo Velez, said she only recently returned from deployment in Iraq. She was preparing to come home because she was pregnant. He likens her death on U.S. soil after serving her country to a slap in the face. He clutched pictures of his daughter as he spoke on a family porch. A friend of Velez, Sasha Ramos, describes her as a fun-loving person who wrote poetry and loved dancing. She was assigned to the 15th Combat Support Battalion, Fort Hood.
Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, Maryland
Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, 55, of Havre De Grace, Md., was a military physician assistant with two daughters and six grandchildren. Her sister, Margaret Yaggie of Roaring Branch in north-central Pennsylvania, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that her sister attended Pittsburgh Langley High School and put herself through school at the University of Pittsburgh. She said her sister spent most of her career in the military. She was assigned to the 1908th Medical Company, Independence, Mo.
Spc. Kham Xiong, Minnesota
A St. Paul, Minnesota soldier is among those who were killed in the Fort Hood massacre. Army Spc. Kham Xiong was shot and killed before he ever had a chance to go to war. He was at Fort Hood, preparing for a deployment in Iraq around New Year's. Xiong's wife and three children had been with him in Texas for five months, as he got ready for his assignment. The rest of his family is in St. Paul where Xiongs’ father, Chor, says he will always be proud of his son. Family members say Xiong was in line for a physical when the shooting broke out. His wife sent him a text message, telling him to come home for lunch and go back for the physical later. But Xiong texted back, “No, I’ll stay. It's almost my turn." Xiong has ten siblings, including a 17-year-old brother, who's a Marine in Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood.
Injured (Alphabetized by Last Name)
Pfc. James Armstrong, Georgia
Pfc. James Armstrong of Milledgeville, Ga., was shot twice in Thursday’s rampage, but despite his wounds, helped others get out of harms way.
He’s a mental health specialist with the 1908th Medical Detachment,
Combat Stress Control and was training and processing at Fort Hood for deployment. He was out of the hospital on Friday, but was on crutches.
Amber Bahr, Wisconsin
Amber Bahr, of Random Lake, Wisconsin was shot in the back and was undergoing tests, family members said. Her mother, Lisa Pfund, said Bahr told her she ran when shots rang out and didn't realize she had been hit until she went to the emergency room.
Keara Bono, Missouri
Keara Bono, of Independence, Missouri.
Alan Carroll, New Jersey
Alan Carroll, 20, of Bridgewater, N.J. was shot at least three times and underwent surgery Thursday night, according to officials with the North Branch Fire Company. Carroll and his stepfather are longtime members of the volunteer department. North Branch Fire Chief Michael Russoniello told The Star-Ledger of Newark that he has spoken with Carroll's parents, who he said were headed to Texas to be with him, and they told him he was expected to recover from his wounds." He's a really good kid," Russoniello told the newspaper. "His whole intent was to go into the service the entire time I knew him."
Joy Clark Iowa
Joy Clark, of Des Moines, Iowa was reportedly shot in the arm and was in stable condition Friday awaiting surgery.
Matthew Cooke, New York
Joey Foster, Utah
Joey Foster, 21, of Ogden Utah grabbed as many injured people as he could and ran for cover, his wife Mandy said. "Then he realized that he'd been shot 20 minutes after sitting behind the wall," she said. Foster was scheduled for surgery Friday to remove fragments of the bullets.
Cpl. Nathan Hewitt, Indiana
Cpl. Nathan Hewitt of Lafayette, Ind. was struck in the hip and calf by two bullets Thursday and was expected to be released from the hospital Friday afternoon. Hewitt's relatives said he was in the medical center on the Army post when the gunfire began. Despite his injuries, Hewitt was able to help other soldiers flee the building. Hewitt, 27, is a mechanic, stationed at Fort Hood, waiting deployment to Afghanistan. He served an earlier tour of duty in Iraq.
Justin Johnson, Florida
Justin Johnson 19, of Punta Gorda, Fla. was shot in the chest and leg, according to his mother, Roxanne Johnson. She told WINK-TV Army officials confirmed that her son underwent surgery, but did not provide his immediate condition. She planned to fly to Fort Hood on Friday.
Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, North Carolina
Staff. Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, of Richmond County, N.C.; was reportedly shot three or four times. Two of the bullets have been removed.
2nd Lt. Brandy Mason
Sabrina Heath, of Monessen, told KDKA-TV on Friday that her niece, 2nd Lt. Brandy Mason, was shot in the thigh Thursday. Heath said Mason made a brief call Thursday and said she was at the Soldier Readiness Center waiting her turn when the gunman came in and opened fire. Heath said Mason spent 14 months in Iraq and was never shot at. Heath said Mason visited Monessen, which is about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, two weeks ago to see her 17-year-daughter, who was a member of Monessen High School's homecoming court.
Grant Moxon, Wisconsin
Grant Moxon, 23, from Lodi, Wisconsin, is, a mental health specialist who arrived at Fort Hood on Wednesday and was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. He was reportedly sitting in a processing room when he heard a commotion and found himself face-to-face with the gunman. He was shot in the leg.
Fort Hood Police Sgt. Kimberly Munley
Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said Friday that Fort Hood police Sgt. Kimberly Munley and her partner responded within three minutes of reported gunfire Thursday afternoon. Cone said Munley shot the gunman four times despite being shot herself. Officials said Munley was in stable condition. Cone said, "It was an amazing and an aggressive performance by this police officer." Cone also said he was inspired by a woman who helped carry a wounded victim and used her blouse as a tourniquet, then later realized she'd been shot in the hip.
Maj. Randy Royer, Alabama
Maj. Randy Royer of Dothan, Ala., is a member of the Alabama National Guard and was with about 270 other soldiers training at Fort Hood for deployment to Afghanistan. He was shot twice and suffered shoulder, leg and knee injuries, which will require surgery. His wife was en route to Fort Hood Friday.
George Stratton, Idaho
George Stratton III, 18, from Post Falls, Idaho was reportedly shot while standing five feet from the gunman.
Originally thought to be among the dead from Thursday’s shooting, officials said Thursday night Hasan had survived.
Hasan remains in a coma but is expected to live, authorities said.