MASON, OH (FOX19) - "He was was running up to soldiers and just shooting them in cold blood. No regard for life whatsoever."
Those are words from Sgt. Josh Berry of Mason, who came under fire last Thursday while on base at Fort Hood, Texas. He had no gun, and no reason to fear one of his own would come hunting for fellow soldiers, but then came the suspect now identified as Major Nidal Hasan.
Sgt. Berry heard the gunshots, saw soldiers fall down, and thought he would be next.
"There was just a row of desks, it was all one piece. All he had to do was look behind it," said Josh.
Sgt. Berry called out to lock the door, told everyone to keep down and stay quiet. Then he reached for his cell phone, called his wife Melissa, and she listened in.
"The first thing he said to me was 'Honey, they're shooting in the room I'm in. I love you,'" said Melissa. "And that was all he directly said to me, and from that [time] the line was open, and I could hear the screaming, the deep breathing, running, wrestling with the phone. I could hear the gunshots, which I think was the scariest. The next part was I could hear the lady's voice in the background saying they were fired on and needed assistance."
Sgt. Berry survived, but dislocated his soldier ducking for cover.
"I've been in firefights in Afghanistan, but at least I could defend myself over there. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, he's gonna get you," said Josh.
When he heard the news that the gunman was a fellow soldier, he was floored.
"He just wasn't a soldier, he was an officer. He was a major. He was a field grade officer, and to me, I'm embarrassed that a so-called leader that I'm supposed to salute when I walked by him is going to turn around and shoot me in my back," said Josh.
Understandably, he's having a tough time digesting the shooting rampage, but he's thankful he's alive to celebrate another Veterans Day.
"Especially on a day like Veterans Day, I do feel very humble and peaceful with myself," he said. "I'm proud of the people I serve with. We will rebound from this, I'll head to Fort Knox and start training soldiers again, get ready to deploy next year hopefully."
Sgt. Berry is home for 30 days of medical leave. He was a mechanic for eight years in the reserves, reenlisted in 2006 for artillery, just finished a year in Afghanistan, and has one year left for his tour.
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