FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - Military installations across the country monitored the situation in Texas closely, to make sure that it did not require them to take action at their facilities as well. Nearby Fort Lee, has not changed the way it operates, but that doesn't mean the tragedy hasn't impacted this local military community.
The leadership at Fort Lee chose not to increase the security at the gates behind me, but even though the tragedy in Texas did not interrupt business as usual in central Virginia, it is still weighing heavily on the minds of those who live and work here. Lorena Gonzalez's license plates show her Texas roots. But the wife of a Fort Lee solider has an even greater connection to Thursday's Fort Hood tragedy. It's where her brother in law is serving his country.
"We still haven't heard anything, we haven't found out anything yet," said Lorena Gonzalez.
Lorena is familiar with anxious moments like these. Her husband has already returned from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. She feels confident her brother in law is safe, because when your family is at war, sometimes that confidence is all you have.
"It's to the point where sometimes you don't hear from your family at for sometimes weeks or months at a time," she said.
Desert storm veteran Tim Peterson's has been following the coverage from Fort Hood all day. While it's unclear what led to the shooting, he believes the toll war takes on members of the military is difficult for average Americans to understand.
"It's difficult. It took me two or three months to get back grounded. It's not easy," Peterson said.
And for military families this horrible event makes them begin to wonder if their loved ones are safe even when they are nowhere near a war zone.
"Right now anything is happening in every place. Whether it is overseas at war or here in the states, there is a lot of tragedy going on everywhere," Lorena said.
Even on the once safe confines of the biggest military base in the world. As for the situation here at Fort Lee, officials say they will continue to monitor the situation and adjust if the conditions warrant, but as of right now, this post is operating as it normally would.