IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – With more than 45,000 soldiers or airmen and nearly 9,000 civilians stationed at Fort Hood, there are many North Texas connections.
After the shooting, loved ones waited for phone calls or text messages with two words: I’m safe.
The call of duty took Private First Class James Standlee to Fort Hood one year ago. His parents and sister back home in Ft. Worth say joining the military is what he always wanted to do with his life.
The hours the shooting lasted Wednesday afternoon, were some of the longest this family has experienced.
“On the radio they said, ‘One dead.’ My heart just instantly sank. I texted my brother, ‘Please tell me you’re okay,” said Caitlin Standlee, James’s sister.
The Standlees say their soldier was able to text them brief updates, but nothing more.
His father, Frank Standlee, thinks his son was just a couple blocks away from where the gunfire broke out.
“You just wonder what causes someone to do something like this. You think about what you could do to stop it, and you could come up with every suggestion in the world,” said Frank Standlee.
Around 7 p.m., Frank tried to call his son, and got an answer.
“He just said, ‘I can’t say much. We’re okay and I’ll call you later,” and Frank.
“I told him I loved him,” the father said.
Fort Hood is home not just to soldiers and post employees, but families. James Standlee has a wife and baby, who were at home at the time of the shooting.
Late Wednesday night, Standlee’s family says he was finally able to go home to them.
“It’s still very scary. It makes you feel like you’re not safe anywhere,” said Cathey Standlee, Jame’s mother.
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