Those who died that day were young and old, natural-born and immigrants, but all were serving this country when they were allegedly gunned down by Army psychologist Nidal Malik Hasan.
The youngest of the dead, 19-year-old Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, of the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan, Utah, chose to join the Army instead of going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his uncle Christopher Nemelka said.
Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago, had just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. She was three months pregnant and due home by December for the start of maternity leave.
Physician assistant Mike Cahill, 62, the one civilian to be killed, had recovered from a heart attack two weeks prior to the shooting. His daughter, Keely Vanacker said, "He survived that. He was getting back on track, and he gets killed by a gunman."
Military police have yet to find a clear motive for the attack. Hassan, the alleged gunman, communicated with a radical Muslim imam, according to a Defense Department terrorism investigator. Other military reports have denied that. Still other reports have said there was contact but the exchange was about the effects of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than any violent plot.
Hassan was injured in the attack, but not killed.
In addition to the dead, 29 were wounded.
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