A pregnant soldier who had just returned from Iraq and was expected to be going out on maternity leave has been listed as one of the casualties in Thursday’s shooting at the Fort Hood military base.
According to the New York Daily News, Francheska Velez had been back in the states just three days when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on base, killing 13. Velez was somewhere between six weeks and three months pregnant (depending on accounts), and had apparently returned from her overseas posting to get her and the baby out of harm’s way. A native of Chicago, Velez was just twenty-one. She was to be released next month to continue her pregnancy in a civilian setting.
Early in her pregnancy, it’s probably safe to assume she wasn’t showing and there was no sign to Hasan that he was shooting a pregnant woman. Sadly, he was on a mission to kill, and it’s likely it wouldn’t have mattered.
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