The shock of Thursday's mass shooting at an Army post in Texas hit home Friday as at least five Wisconsin soldiers were identified as among the dead and wounded.
Four of the soldiers were members of the Madison-based 467th Medical Detachment.
Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel in southwestern Manitowoc County, joined the Army shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with an eye toward getting Osama Bin Laden.
Capt. Russell Seager, a 51-year-old nurse practitioner of Pleasant Prairie, joined the Army Reserve about four years ago and pushed to deploy with the unit so he could help soldiers cope with the stresses of war.
Both were killed when police say Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at a Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood, Texas, where 300 soldiers about to be deployed were waiting for eye tests and vaccinations.
"She was a beautiful, beautiful person," said Rosanne Coffeen, the mother of Krueger's best friend. "This sure never should have happened to her."
Krueger and Seager belonged to the 467th, based at 1402 S. Park St. in Madison. Wounded from the unit were Dorothy Carskadon, 47, a social worker and the team leader from the Madison Vet Center, and Army Reserve Spc. Grant Moxon, 23, a mental health specialist from Lodi.
Also injured was Pfc. Amber Bahr, 23, of Random Lake. It was not clear Friday if she was a member of the unit.
The bodies of Krueger, Seager and the 11 others killed were being flown to Dover Air Force base in Dover, Del., for autopsies, according to the Associated Press, which also reported 30 people were wounded in the attack.
The Army had not released late Friday a full list of the dead and wounded but Army Chief of Staff George Casey said about 20 units were affected by the shooting. Secretary of the Army John McHugh singled out the 36th Engineer Brigade based at Fort Hood as especially hard hit, with four killed and 11 wounded.
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle was still waiting for official word on the number of dead and injured from Wisconsin but said that the Wisconsin National Guard had offered to help affected Wisconsin families.
"We will make available to those families all the resources that we have in this state to help them to deal with this," Doyle said. "I know I speak for all the people in the state of Wisconsin that our prayers are with those families and we are incredibly thankful for the service of their loved ones."
'It's not been an easy day'
With the Army not releasing names of the victims, their identities slowly trickled out Thursday and Friday. Krueger's family went public early Friday, and a friend called Kiel High School Principal Dario Talerico. He announced the death of the 1998 graduate at about 8 a.m. over the school's public address system. Kiel is a community of about 3,000 people 65 miles north of Milwaukee.
"If our kids didn't know her directly they knew a sibling or cousin or an aunt and uncle," said Talerico. "It's not been an easy day."
An uncle of Seager confirmed the soldier's death Friday but other family members declined to speak to reporters.
Peter Pavone, campus director at Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee where Seager has taught since 2005, called Seager a "remarkable individual" who "was admired for his skill as an instructor, dedication to his career and concern for the success and well being of his students and his country."
Moxon, a 2004 Lodi High School graduate, told his father, Dave Moxon, that he had been shot in the leg and had looked the shooter, who was about 15 feet away, in the eye. He said he played dead after being shot.
"We feel very fortunate," Dave Moxon said. "Relative to the overall scope of what happened, this is on the minor side."
Army Reserve Spc. Jason Zant, 23, of Friendship, also a member of the 467th, witnessed the shooting but was not injured.
"According to him, he was in that place where the shooting took place and he saw everything," said Zant's mother, Kathy Zant, who spoke with him briefly the day of the shooting. "He said he had seen members of his unit get shot. He didn't know their condition then because they were on their way to the hospital."
Zant said her son sounded "pretty shaken up." She was saddened to hear about the deaths and injuries among other members of the Madison-based unit, which she described as "close knit."
Bahr was shot in the back. She joined the Army Reserves when she was 17 and was saving money for college, said her mother, Lisa Pfund.
Lt. Gen. Bob Cone told NBC's "Today" show Friday that Bahr helped apply a tourniquet to one injured soldier and then attended to other soldiers before realizing she'd been shot.
State Journal reporters Barry Adams, Gena Kittner, Dee J. Hall, Deborah Ziff and Patricia Simms, and the Associated Press contributed to this report