Fort Hood shooting: ‘It happened at our home.’


Military personnel and civilians wait in a parking lot outside of Fort Hood on Wednesday. (Tamir Kalifa/AP)

Robert Heckler said his friend Patrick Miller could belt out “The Reason,” the Hoobastank song, better than the band when the two would jam together in Baghdad.

“Man, that guy is one of a kind honestly, he’s a straight dude, he’s a cool dude,” Heckler said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Washington Post. “We put together a little band jamming out to help out with morale. He sang with the band, and he could sing his heart out. He’s a positive guy, he never really got upset about anything.”

Miller was one of the injured in Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood. Heckler, of Brazoria, Tex., heard about Miller last night, but has not received an update on his condition. “I have no doubt he’ll pull through because of who he is,” Heckler said.

Heckler, who spent four and a half years at Fort Hood, said it hurts to receive bad news about a friend you served with, but it’s particularly painful that it happened at the post in central Texas.

“It happened at our home, at our house,” said Heckler, who is now a police officer. “He was shot by another soldier. That’s a lot different than the Army I was in.”

Miller’s family and friends have taken to social media to ask for prayers. Several friends, including Heckler, changed their profile pictures to images of Miller, mostly of him in his Army fatigues. Miller’s wife tweeted directly to two Buffalo Bills football players – which is his favorite team – asking them to pray for her husband’s recovery.

Two weeks ago, Miller posted a photo on his Facebook page of his unit in Baghdad, writing it was “the most difficult and challenging year of my life. Witnessing countless acts of bravery, heroism and selfless service, despite all the death and destruction … we became a family. We became brothers…”

More on Fort Hood:

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.
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