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Retired soldier remembers 2009 Fort Hood Shooting
Greece, N.Y. - It was a place he called home.
"My favorite base had to have been Fort Hood," said Retired Army Sergeant Mark Mitchell Jr. "To be honest with you, I loved everything about Fort Hood."
But images of Wednesday's shooting at the base brought back difficult memories for Mitchell, memories of the 2009 massacre when Nidal Hasan killed 13 and injured 32 others.
"It was still so fresh, you know war, coming back from war coming over here it felt like war followed me," he said.
In 2009, Mitchell was injured during his second tour in Iraq; the Army brought him back to Fort Hood to recover.
On November 5, 2009 Mitchell was supposed to be at the Solider Readiness Processing Center to fill out necessary paperwork after returning back into the country, but instead his doctor had an opening and called him into surgery.
"Surgery was a success and there were more nurses there then brought me in," he said. "They helped me get up, they wheeled out my bed, said they needed my bed, they wheeled in a little hospital recliner and that's where I sat and they turned the TV to me and said, if I wanted to know what was going on, to watch TV, and look outside."
Outside he saw swat cars and people running.
"I didn't know what was going on, but they needed my hospital bed for the shooting victims," he said.
Mitchell said his perspective changed in the following days.
"I remember myself, you look at your battle buddies differently you know and that's the hardest thing," he explained, "because the army lives, the services lives off of loyalty, you know duty, honor, respect."
Mitchell now worries current soldiers may be having the same feelings.
"After two incidents at the same base it seems like it could happen anywhere, and that's when soldiers are going to be on edge," he said. "We're already on edge being overseas and coming back, I really feel it's going to put a damper on moral."
Mitchell said security got tighter and the feel of the base did change following the 2009 shooting.