Obama: Fort Hood victims are American patriots


Bob Butler, left, and Bob Gordon create a memorial in front of Central Christian Disciples of Christ church in Texas for the victims of Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Obama paid tribute to the victims of the Fort Hood shooting on Thursday, saying each was an "American patriot" and calling the violence at the Army post "tragic."

Obama made his remarks during an event at the White House honoring the U.S. Winter Olympic team. Before speaking of the athletes' achievements, Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama were thinking about the families of the victims of the shooting by a soldier who killed three others and himself Wednesday.

“During the course of a decade of war, many have served multiple tours of duty," Obama said. "To see the unspeakable, senseless violence happening in a place they were supposed to feel safe, home base, is tragic. Obviously, this is the second time Fort Hood has been affected this way. We joint the entire community in honoring those who lost their lives. Every single one of them is an American patriot. We stand with the families and their loved ones as they grieve. … We stand with the wounded; we’re here to support them. We will make sure we do everything in our power to keep the troops safe, not just on the battlefield, but when they come home.”

At his daily briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to say whether Obama was considering traveling to Fort Hood as he did in November 2009 after a shooting rampage there that left 13 dead and 30 wounded.

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