By Bill Tinsley
Corsicana Daily Sun
Last week the jury made its decision and sentenced the Fort Hood killer to death. It has been four long years since the United States Medical Corps officer opened fire on those he had sworn to protect, killing fourteen including Francheska Valez and her unborn baby. He claims to see himself as a mujahedeen, an Islamic holy warrior, and claims to have killed the innocent soldiers at Fort Hood to protect the Taliban.
Apparently he wants to die, thinking, in his warped way, that this will make him a martyr. Since the military has not executed anyone since 1961, it is more likely that he will spend the next decades wasting away as a paralytic in a forgotten prison cell on death row.
When I wrote about the incident in 2009, I chose to focus on those who are the true heroes in this tragic atrocity. I will continue to remember Kimberly Munley, the Fort Hood police officer who sought out the killer and stood her ground exchanging gunfire with him to end the slaughter.
I will remember 19-year-old Amber Bahr from Wisconsin who, after being shot herself helped drag her buddies to safety and tore up her jacket as a makeshift tourniquet to save a fellow soldier. These women are truly heroic because their first thoughts were for the safety and welfare of others.
I will focus upon those who gave their lives, the others who were wounded and the thousands, both military and civilian, whose bravery and unselfish sacrifices go unknown and unreported every day, those who choose goodness and grace in obscure places without thought of reward.
There will always be these appalling events, when a soldier loses touch with reason and murders innocent victims, whether My Lai, the Afghan massacre or Fort Hood. But for every attacker whose name is recorded as a footnote in history, there are a hundred unreported and unremembered heroes who do what is right and good for their fellow man.
I will choose to believe the Bible’s promise that goodness and grace ultimately overcome hatred and violence. I will believe this because God has not only declared it to be true; He has demonstrated it by the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
As the Scripture says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know … what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
Because of this, I will seek to follow His instruction, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20).
Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. He lives in Waco with his wife, Jackie. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.