It has just recently come to my attention that two of the dead at Fort Hood where actually psychiatric nurses. The following is what I have learned from several public access sources...
Capt. John Gaffaney, 56, was a psychiatric nurse who worked for San Diego County, Calif., for more than 20 years and had arrived at Fort Hood the day before the shooting to prepare for a deployment to Iraq.
Capt. Gaffaney, who was born in Williston, N.D., had served in the Navy and later the California National Guard as a younger man, his family said. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he tried to sign up again for military service. Although the Army Reserves at first declined, he got the call about two years ago asking him to rejoin, said his close friend and co-worker Stephanie Powell. “He wanted to help the boys in Iraq and Afghanistan deal with the trauma of what they were seeing,” Ms. Powell said. “He was an honorable man. He just wanted to serve in any way he can.” His family described him as an avid baseball card collector and fan of the San Diego Padres who liked to read military novels and ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Capt. Gaffaney supervised a team of six social workers, including Powell, at the county’s Adult Protective Services department. Ellen Schmeding, assistant deputy director for the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, said Capt. Gaffaney was a strong leader. He is survived by a wife and a son.
The following is a list of local news reports about Capt. Gaffaney:
Capt. Russell Seager, 51, of Racine, Wis., was a psychiatrist who joined the Army a few years ago because he wanted to help veterans returning to civilian life, said his uncle, Larry Seager of Mauston.
Capt. Seager’s brother-in-law, Dennis Prudhomme, said Capt. Seager had worked with soldiers at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Milwaukee who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He also taught classes at Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee, said Mr. Prudhomme, who is married to Capt. Seager’s sister.
Larry Seager said his nephew’s death left the family stunned, especially because the psychiatrist only wanted to help soldiers improve their mental health.
“It’s unbelievable. He goes down there to help out soldiers and then he …” Mr. Seager said, his voice trailing off. “I still can’t believe it.”
Russell Seager is survived by a wife and 20-year-old son.
Capt. Seager was scheduled to go to Afghanistan in December and had gone to Fort Hood for training.
“Our family has suffered a great loss and we are all devastated,” Capt. Seager’s sister, Barbara Prudhomme, said in a statement read by her husband. “We are very proud of the way Russell lived his life, both personally and professionally, and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families.”
The following is a list of local media in Wisconsin that have more information on Capt. Seager:
May God shed a special blessing on the families of these slain nurse soldiers!