In the weeks since the Fort Hood tragedy, Army Reserve Col. Kathy Platoni said she and fellow reservists have been “hanging together very tightly” and talking a lot about what happened.
Going through the ordeal together has strengthened the unit.
“We have become a family,” said Platoni of Beavercreek, a clinical psychologist. “That’s how we’ve gotten through it.”
On Saturday, she went through a formal behavioral health screening and interview to see how she’s coping with what happened. She hasn’t been called back for a second interview.
Platoni will deploy in the coming weeks to Afghanistan with the 467th Medical Detachment as the officer in charge of a small team providing combat operations stress control services.
It will be her third deployment since the Sept. 11 attacks. She counseled soldiers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 2003 to 2004 and later served in Iraq.
Three people from her combat stress control detachment were killed and six others were injured at Fort Hood. She also knew two soldiers who died from her “sister” unit, the 1908th Medical Detachment in which she used to serve.
Among the dead were Major Eduardo Caraveo, 52, of Woodbridge, Va., who had come to the United States from Mexico as a child, barely speaking the language. He became the first member of his family to graduate from college and later earned a doctorate in clinical psychology.
“He was one of the brightest lights in our unit,” she said.
Also killed were her two convoy buddies — Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, a “tough as nails” mental health therapist, and Capt. Russell Seager, 51, whom she called a “gentle giant.”
She had gone through combat training with them at Fort Hunter Liggett in California prior to their arrival at Fort Hood. The training put them through various scenarios including being prepared for improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.
There was no training to prepare them for the worst mass shooting at an American military base.
“This was our battlefield,” she said.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2094 or mkissell@DaytonDailyNews.com.
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