Texas requests Salvation Army presence at Fort Hood

Following shooting, Salvation Army counsels military members for three days.

by Christin Davis –

Lt. Jason Moore, Salvation Army corps officer in Killeen, Texas, received a call from a U.S. Army soldier requesting help for the family of a fellow soldier.

“I instructed the Family Store to take care of this family—whatever they needed,” Moore said. “A few days later, I was told that the soldier in the family we helped was a victim at Fort Hood.”

On Nov. 5, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly went on a murderous shooting rampage at Fort Hood, the country’s largest military installation. Thirteen people were killed and another 29 were wounded.

The next morning, the State of Texas sent an urgent request to The Salvation Army to provide pastoral care and counseling to first responders and family members affected by the tragedy.

Seven Salvation Army officers reported to Fort Hood with a canteen and spent three days onsite, providing 416 individuals with snacks, drinks, meals and counseling.

Captain Russell Czajkowski, commanding officer of the Central Texas Area Coordinate and a former U.S. Marine, oversaw The Salvation Army’s pastoral response efforts and spoke with the police chief, fire chief and city manager while onsite.

“I saw the press, military members and families standing outside the gates of Fort Hood all in shock and in tears, trying to understand why,” Czajkowski said of his arrival on scene. “I am proud as a Salvationist to receive the call to provide emotional and spiritual care to those in need, but even more proud that the State of Texas saw us as an instrument of God’s grace to provide this service.”

According to military sources, Hasan—an Army psychiatrist—was disturbed about his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, where he was to counsel soldiers suffering from stress.

Captain Tracey Czajkowski, commanding officer of ministry to women and children in the Central Texas Area Coordinate, said many of the military members and civilians on the Army base are confused about the motives behind this tragedy.

“The people of Fort Hood feel betrayed on many levels,” she said, “that this psychiatrist, an officer and fellow soldier, was one of their own.”

Back at the Family Store in Killeen, Moore reports that the small group of soldiers who helped load items for the fallen soldier’s family were so touched by the generosity of The Salvation Army that they volunteered to ring the bell at a kettle for the Army this year.

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