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Aftermath of Fort Hood Shootings: CNY Veterans

Although it happened hundreds of miles away the shooting there having an impact here. Many vets call Central New York home and Fort Drum only a few hours away.

Although it happened hundreds of miles away the shooting there having an impact here.  Many vets call Central New York home and Fort Drum only a few hours away. 

Three soldiers dead.  16 wounded.  And the gunmen now dead after committing suicide.  It shocked and stunned the fort hood community.

"I heard gun shots, at that point I was scared," says Antonio Ortiz, witness.

But it's a tragedy that is hitting us close to home too.  Many veterans call Central New York home, including Utica Councilman Jack LoMedico.

"And all of the sudden I’d ended up in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and that area there which really started my real military career when it comes to deployments and all that," says LoMedico, veteran.

LoMedico says after years of service, there were moments when he had a hard time re-adapting to civilian life.

"Then you get home and there are some days you wake up and before you open your eyes you really don't know where you're at.  Am I in Iraq? Am I home? You sort of open your eyes a little at a time and you say okay I know where I am right now," he says.

Right here in Utica, the CNY Veterans Outreach Center is trying to do their part to help the transition.

"A lot of them have been given direction and told what to do for so many years even and then they don't have any direction when they leave. So they need someone to say this is how we're going to do this.  This is where we're going to go from here," says Danielle Nuccio, case worker.

And the Outreach Center will be doing renovations in the next couple of months to add room for veterans who knew short term housing.

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