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Tragedy at Fort Hood

There are four deceased Soldiers and 16 wounded from the April 2 incident at Fort Hood. Of the 16 Soldiers, nine of them are at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas and three are at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center here. Four of the Soldiers have already been released.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the United States Army continues as the lead investigating agency and are now synchronizing all of the investigative work of the federal, state, local and Army agencies throughout Fort Hood and the surrounding area.

Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley confirmed the death of Spc. Ivan Antonio Lopez, identified as the person responsible for the shooting incident April 2. Milley, said that although no clear motive had emerged, the underlying factor in the shooting appeared to be the troubled mental state of Specialist Lopez, who was being treated for depression and was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lopez, 34, whose home of record is listed as Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, entered active duty service in June 2008 and was currently assigned to 49th Transportation Movement Control Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

He was previously assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas and assigned to the 1st Armored Division from April 2010 until November 2013 as an automatic rifleman. He reclassified as a motor transport operator in December 2013 and arrived at Fort Hood in February 2014.

Lopez deployed to Egypt from January 2007 to January 2008, and in support of Operation New Dawn from August 2011 to December 2011.

Lopez's awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Army Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non commissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and Multinational Forces and Observers medal.

"NAMI shares the nation's sadness over Wednesday's tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas. NAMI is an organization of individuals and families, including military service members and veterans, who have had their lives deeply affected by mental illness. We extend our sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives or were wounded. We also are sorry for the pain experienced by the family of the person responsible," said Mary Giliberti, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Gilberti continued, "When tragedies occur, clear facts emerge slowly. However, the immediate focus on mental health conditions often adds to the stigma that surrounds them. This result would be particularly tragic for our nation's warriors and veterans. NAMI has repeatedly called for action to erase the stigma of seeking help for mental health problems— especially in military communities, where the culture often motivates solders to conceal mental illness because it is seen as a weakness, rather than a medical condition like any other. Strong leadership and accountability will be needed now more than ever to convey and implement a message of parity: that mental wounds are as serious as physical ones and will receive the same compassion and care."

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

According to Gilberti, "Every day, one active duty warrior and 22 veterans die from suicide. Their deaths represent a national crisis. We must not allow the Fort Hood tragedy to increase stigma that already exists or discourage others from reaching out for help when they need it. NAMI will continue to advocate for parity, accountability, collaboration and action for all our warriors and veterans with mental health needs."

Fort Hood is the largest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services. It is home to two full divisions, 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and tt also supports 12 additional units. There are about 41,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood.

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