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Fort Hood Addresses Soldier Mental Health in Weeks After Shooting

Jan. 11, 2010

Lt. Gen. Robert Cone said life on post is getting back to normal after the mass shooting that's become known in the military as "Five-November." The shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan remains hospitalized and the case against him is working its way through the army justice system. The system, which starts at the lowest level of command and works its way up, has not yet reached Lt. Gen. Cone. As he prepares for his own deployment in the coming weeks, his focus has been on Fort Hood's continued emphasis on mental health. Cone said the base is responding to the shooting with a growing Behavioral Health Care Plan, in which all of the nearly 850 people directly affected by the shooting have participated.

Cone says this builds on the mental health measures emphasized by officials at Fort Hood even before the shooting. Additionally, he's charged Col. Bill Rabina with corralling the resources of mental health professionals in the military and throughout Central Texas into a cohesive task force.

Cone envisions the Behavioral Health Care Plan and task force as positives borne out of the Five-November tragedy that will affect the lives of soldiers and their families in the decades to come. In the meantime, he is among those deploying to Iraq and has charged Major General Will Grimsley as acting commander of Fort Hood in his absence. Grimsley will oversee the day-to-day duties at the installation including working with Col Rabina on addressing the mental health needs of the community. He said he will be in regular contact with Cone, but that Cone empowers those under him to make decisions.

For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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