President Obama delivered the names of the soldiers behind a three rifles, three helmets and three pairs of boots—symbolizing the fallen servicemen.
Sgt. First Class Daniel M. Ferguson, Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez and Sgt. Timothy W. Owens were were gunned down by Specialist Ivan Rodriguez last week. The Army says Rodriguez went on a shooting rampage after an argument with administrators about a leave request. The president said the country should do more to keep bases like Fort hood safe, vowing "...to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are having such deep difficulties. As a military we must do everything in our power to secure our facilities to spare others this pain," President Obama said.
This is the second time the president has made a trip to Fort Hood during his presidency. The first was in 2009 to memorialize soldiers who died in another shooting rampage. Army psychiatrist Nadal Malik Hasan killed 13 and wounded 30 in that shooting. The President said recent wars have taken their tolls on soldiers abroad and at home.
"And finally we must honor these men by recognizing that they were members of a generation that has borne the burden of security in more than a decade of war," Obama said. "Now our troops are coming home and after a decade of conflict in Afghanistan our troops are finally coming home."
576 Fort Hood soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. 14 Fort Hood soldiers have died in on-base shootings.