Saturday, October 24, 2015
A Soldier Fights Back
Retired Army Sgt. Howard Ray is a hero. Just ask the men and women—both comrades and civilians—whom he saved at Fort Hood back in 2009, when Nidal Hasan went on a shooting rampage, killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others.
“I know for a fact that had I had my firearm that day, I would have been the deciding factor that stopped that terrorist ...”
For his efforts to rescue many that fateful day, Sgt. Ray received a medal of commendation. Yet the recent killing of four Marines and a Navy sailor in Chattanooga, Tenn., by a lone-wolf radical Muslim terrorist has prompted Sgt. Ray, recently retired, to speak out about an injustice that continues to cost lives of our military men and women.
“The victims and the survivors of all of the families that are affected are so tired of, ‘I’m sorry,’” Sgt. Ray told me in an exclusive interview just a few weeks after the Chattanooga attacks. “‘I’m sorry’ does not buy you the lives of a brother, a sister, a mother. It doesn’t bring them back. It doesn’t un-wound those that are wounded. It’s just an empty statement.
“The sign on the door with all the bullet holes in it was the biggest sign of truth I’ve ever seen. No guns; gun-free zones simply don’t work. Never have.”
Watching reports of those attacks took Sgt. Ray back six years to when he found himself unarmed in the face of a heavily armed attacker bent on killing as many people as he could as quickly as possible. It’s not a situation he believes any serviceman or servicewoman should ever be put in again.
“The crazy thing about it is that it seemed just like any other day,” he recalled. “[I was] fixing to head back on to post, realizing, ‘Oops, I’ve got my gun on me.’ I ran inside, and I put my gun on top of my dresser.”