Kimberly Munley, a self-described 'OCD mom,' hailed as hero
Saturday, November 7, 2009
KILLEEN, TEX. -- Kimberly Munley was a worried mother who fretted over swine flu, praying that the H1N1 virus would skip her young daughter. She was a polite neighbor, waving to fellow residents in a development of tidy lawns here on the outskirts of town.
But on Friday, Munley was hailed as a hero for helping end the rampage that left 13 dead at Fort Hood, the sprawling Army post where she works as a civilian police officer. Officials identified her as one of the officers who confronted the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, and was wounded in an exchange of gunfire. Munley, 34, was shot in the thighs and a wrist. She remained hospitalized Friday in stable condition.
Her actions made her a hero to colleagues and strangers alike, as military leaders, neighbors and others praised her role in bringing an end to the tragedy.
"She probably saved a lot of lives with her actions," said Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army's chief of staff.
Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, commanding officer at Fort Hood, said, "It was an amazing and an aggressive performance by this police officer."
No one answered the door Friday at Munley's residence, in an area that is home primarily to current or former service members. Neighbors say Munley lives with her husband, who serves in the Army and was traveling when the shootings occurred, and two daughters, Hope and Jayden.
Neighbor Brooke Beato said she wasn't surprised to learn of Munley's heroic actions. "There should be a parade for her all the way to her front door," Beato said. "There could have been a lot more lives lost. It could have been someone else there first, someone not as well trained, not as brave."
Another resident, Amanda Maben, had a similar reaction: "She's a hero, and she's my neighbor," she said.
More than a dozen Facebook networking groups sprouted Friday in support of Munley. One of them -- "Sgt. Kimberly Munley: A Real American Hero!" -- had more than 5,000 members by 8 o'clock last night.
"We can all leave her messages of gratitude along with 'get well' wishes on this page. Let us keep her as well as all those involved in our prayers!" the group's administrators wrote.
Munley has an account with another social-networking service, Twitter. In one posting, she described herself as "an OCD mom" and wrote that she hoped the H1N1 virus "stays FAR away from Jayden!!!"
In a photo of Munley on her Twitter page, she stands in uniform beside country music star Dierks Bentley, who appeared at a Fourth of July event at Fort Hood. Bentley wrote on his own page Friday: "I want a meet and greet with her now."