INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- An Indiana soldier who trained others to help new veterans with paperwork was among the 13 people killed after an Army psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, his family said Friday.
Army Staff Sgt. Justin M. DeCrow, 32, left behind his wife and high school sweetheart, Marikay DeCrow, and a 13-year-old daughter, Kylah DeCrow. His wife said Friday night that she wanted everyone to know what a loving man he was.
She paused frequently during a phone interview, crying as she talked about him. "He was well loved by everyone," Marikay DeCrow said. "He was a loving father and husband, and he will be missed by all."
DeCrow had been stationed at Fort Hood since returning from a year stationed in Korea, said his father, Daniel DeCrow of Fulton, Ind. Before that, DeCrow was stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., where he and his wife and daughter had a home, his father said. DeCrow felt safe at Fort Hood, his family said.
"He was on a base," Marikay DeCrow said. "They should be safe there. They should be safe."
Daniel DeCrow said his son joined the Army right after finishing high school in Plymouth, Ind.
He said they talked last week about how things were going at Fort Hood, where DeCrow was helping train soldiers to help new veterans with paperwork.
"As usual, the last words out of my mouth to him were that I was proud of him," Daniel DeCrow said. "That's what I said to him every time -- that I loved him and I was proud of what he was doing. I can carry that around in my heart." Marikay DeCrow said she spent hours frantically calling hospitals trying to locate her husband after the shootings.
"But no one could find him anywhere," she said. "No one could find my husband because he was gone."
"I just want my husband back," she added. Funeral arrangements are pending. Daniel DeCrow said he called his son's cell phone repeatedly after learning of the shooting, but got no answer.
"When his cell phone box filled up, then I got worried," he said. Military officials say Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire Thursday as hundreds of soldiers were lined up for vaccines and eye tests.
Thirteen were killed and 30 wounded. Hasan was in a coma Friday after being shot four times. A soldier who grew up in Lafayette was one of those injured, his uncles said Friday.
Lafayette residents Elmo Robledo and Rex Deaton told the Journal & Courier their 26-year-old nephew's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. Hewitt is being treated at a Fort Hood area hospital.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)