Washington, D.C . House Armed Services Committee Chairman Skelton (D- Mo.) spoke on the House floor today in support of H. Res. 895, honoring the lives of the brave soldiers and civilians who died or were wounded in the tragic attack yesterday at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.  Below are the Chairman’s remarks.


“Madam Speaker, Less than 24 hours ago, our nation was shocked to learn that a shooting had taken place at Fort Hood, Texas, one of the largest military bases in the United States.  Over the course of those initial news reports, we were saddened to learn that at least thirteen soldiers were killed or have died and more than thirty were wounded, including the alleged assailant and the officer who was instrumental in bringing an end to the shooting.


“What was shocking to most Americans is that a fellow member is alleged to have carried out this vicious attack on his comrades in arms.  Yesterday, as these soldiers were in the midst of preparing for combat overseas, a fellow soldier opened fire on these unsuspecting patriots and those civilians and soldiers who were supporting them. 


“While many of those who were there were spared from the flying bullets, a number of these courageous soldiers and civilians were wounded, and they will face months, perhaps even years, recovering from their wounds.  The heartache for these individuals and their families will be compounded by the fact that they will face these challenges knowing that they were injured in the line of duty by an individual from within their own ranks.  In the following days and months to come, these individuals and their families will need both emotional and physical sustainment and encouragement.  It is our responsibility to ensure that they and their families have the resources they need to make a full and complete recovery.


“Our prayers are with those who have lost a loved one in this senseless killing.  These military families were already stressed with the thought of their family member deploying to Afghanistan for a year—of the holidays and special moments that they would not share because of this deployment.  And, now, their world has been turned upside down, those last days prior to deployment when many families often make special plans to spend those few precious moments together have been taken away.  This morning they will awaken to the realization that time will not bring their family member home to their welcoming arms.  These families will need much love and support in the coming days, and we as Americans will be there with them and for them in their time of need.


“Madam Speaker, there is an on-going investigation into this incident, and it is not appropriate for us to speculate on the motivations and why this happened.  The investigation should be allowed to be completed without intervention as quickly as possible so that it can bring closure to those who were tragically impacted by this event.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost a loved one and to those who have been wounded, but I also want to reach out to all our military families who are stationed around the world who each understandably are touched by the heartbreaking events of yesterday at Fort Hood.”