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Gov. Perry Speaks After Visiting Victims of Fort Hood

Location: Austin, TX

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.

Thank you, Dr. [Roy] Smythe and thank you to your team for their effective care for the victims of Thursday's incident.

I just had the opportunity to meet several victims of Thursday's violent episode at Fort Hood sharing with them and their families the concerns and well wishes of Texans everywhere.

I also thanked the hardworking doctors and nurses here at Scott & White for their tireless efforts to save lives.

The passage of two days since the violent outburst on Fort Hood has done little to dull the feelings each of us has about the incident.

To those whose lives have been shaken by this isolated incident you need to know that it communicates less about the safety of our society or the condition of the human soul and much, much more about the way people look out for their neighbors in trying times.

From the instant the perpetrator opened fire, the better elements of human nature kicked into gear as SGT Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd raced toward the sound of gunfire knowing that their lives were at risk.

There is no telling how many lives they saved with their quick thinking and purposeful actions but we are fortunate to have first responders of their quality keeping the peace in our state.

I also want to commend our military personnel on Fort Hood and first responders from state and local agencies for their reflexive response to a violent situation and the professionalism they displayed throughout.

Our military, our first responders, our peace officers are the best of the best and we are all safer for them.

As word of the tragedy made its way across the community, the response was instantaneous and deeply compassionate in its nature.
People reached out by phone and email to seek reassurance teachers and caregivers worked overtime to reassure children in locked-down schools and daycare centers and people stood in line for hours to give blood.

The bond between members of the military the unique connection between military families and the commitment to service that pervades this entire community have converged to begin the process of healing.

As I spoke with Sgt. Munley yesterday and the patients here at Scott & White just now I told them there are about 24 million Texans wishing them a speedy recovery.

In the days to come, our priorities here in Texas are simple: support the families affected by this violence support the criminal investigation of this incident and continue supporting our military as we always have.

To that end, the Texas Rangers have been directly involved in the criminal investigation and resources from the Texas Department of Public Safety are standing by as needed.

At the same time, our Department of State Health Services has provided crisis counseling to impacted children, family members, and public safety personnel.

The U.S. Military has clear jurisdiction in this situation, and the state of Texas is continuing its support.

I would now like to introduce two legislators who represent the people of Fort Hood community.

First, representing District 59, and a member of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Coalition, Representative Sid Miller. Sid?

Thank you, Sid.
Now, representing District 55, Representative Ralph Sheffield. Ralph?

Thank you, Ralph.

As we move forward from this day, we can never forget the sacrifices our military men and women make in our defense.

Let's keep them in our prayers, and make sure we're supporting them in every way possible.

We'd now be happy to take questions from our friends in the working press here with us today.

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