Soldier injured in Fort Hood shooting recovering in N.C.
Posted November 22, 2010 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2010 7:31 p.m. EST
Fort Bragg, N.C. — An Army reservist and Roxboro native is gradually reclaiming his life, one year after a massacre at Fort Hood.
Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford was on duty on Nov. 5, 2009, when, authorities say, a fellow soldier opened fire, killing 13 people and injuring more than 30 others.
Lunsford, who was working the front desk of the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, was shot five times.
“The round went in above my left eye. It went between my brain and my skull and came out my left ear,” he said.
The attack left him blind in his left eye.
“I knew I couldn’t play dead. I’m too big to play dead. Dead men don’t sweat,” said Lunsford, who is 6 feet 9 inches tall.
Lunsford could still move his hands and legs, so he got up and escaped through the back door.
“I’m not saying I’m arrogant, but I’m too big of a guy, of a man, to let something like that kill me. That’s not in my spirit, in my creed,” he said.
Outside, paramedics rushed over to him. They thought he wouldn’t survive the shots, which included blows to his back, stomach and torso.
“When I was there on the ground, I was singing ‘Amazing Grace,’ but I couldn’t get past the first stanza. I kept repeating myself,” he said.
The 41-year-old said he thought of his wife and five children.
“God wasn’t ready for me to come home yet,” Lunsford said recently at Fort Bragg, where he is attending physical therapy three days a week in the Warrior Transition Battalion.
Though a year has passed, he said the shooting still haunts him.
“Every night I shut my eyes, I relive Nov. 5 all over again,” he said.
Lunsford said he still sees the face of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the soldier accused in the shooting.
“I have faith in the system, in the justice system of the United States. That’s why I wear the uniform that I wear,” Lunsford said.
While he says he is still angry, Lunsford said he forgives Hasan.
“I can’t let it consume me, so I have to stay upbeat,” he said.
Lunsford spends his time speaking at local high schools and encouraging young people.