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Fort Hood Copes With Stress

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

As soldiers and their families start recovering from the ft hood shootings, they're dealing with the stress in their own way. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more.

Military officials have sent grief counselors to help, and know they'll be dealing with this trauma for quite a while. But each soldier is also finding his or her own way to deal with yesterday's events.

For most soldiers, they're trained to react to violence in what Sgt Andrew Hagerman called controlled chaos.

Sgt. Hagerman: To the outside world it looks like controlled choase. For us soliders it looks like a controlled environment. It's what we're trained to do. We never train for a drill, we always train for it to be live. When you get up there, the first thing you do is take a deep breath and "here we go."

Hagerman helped lead the first ambulance to the scene after hearing shots were fired. He says he just clicked in to auto mode to deal with the event. Only afterwards did he decompress a bit and feel what he called the "shock and awe" of violence, and the efforts soldiers made in response, that saved lives.

Sgt. Jason Krawczyk didn't have as direct an involvement as did Hagerman, be he felt the stress too. From start to finish, he just stuck to his job. He's a communications officer. At home, off base last night, he unwound with his dog.

Sgt. Krawczyk: My Alaskan malamute, he's a big dumb dog. Thinks he's a 90 lb lap dog. That's my decompression. Playing and wrestling with him. Everyone has his thing, exercise, relaxing, everyone's different. You just gotta find what works for you.

That's what a base full of soldiers and family members will look for this weekend. No Doubt it'll be harder for some, whose loved ones lost their lives or were wound in the violence.

Email Bill Zeeble