The mother of a soldier based at Fort Hood sat down and talked with us today about how "maddening" it was not knowing if her son was one of the shooting victims from Thursday. Dorian Herring has been in the army for about 10 years. He's from East St. Louis but has been stationed at Fort Hood for several years now.
Kate Johnson's sister called her on Thursday to ask if she'd heard about the shootings and if Dorian was okay. Johnson works nights and had been sleeping. She turned on CNN and watched the aftermath from the shootings.. All the while, she was trying to get ahold of her son on his cell phone. The phone rang but there was no answer. It didn't go to voicemail. There was no recording saying all the circuits were busy or anything to that effect. It just rang and rang. If you're a parent you probably can relate to the feelings and emotions that she was experiencing at that time. The not knowing was excruciating. I asked her if she was the type of person who kept a positive outlook and told herself that everything would be okay. She said, actually, no. As she said, "No answer wasn't a good answer for me...it was leaving me to wonder the worst..."
Eventually, she did reach her son. He was okay. He had been in the nearby town of Killeen when the shooting occurred. He had just returned from his third deployment to Iraq. His plane was late getting into Texas. He said a debriefing was delayed because of that. If he had been on time he probably would have been in the same building the shooting occurred when the gunman opened fire.