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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The mother of a 37-year-old Illinois soldier killed during an attack at Fort Hood, Texas, says she was reunited less than two weeks earlier with a daughter she gave up for adoption at birth.
Mary Muntean of Effingham, Ill., told The Associated Press that she was still celebrating that reunion when she got a call telling her that her son, U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Owens, was killed Wednesday in the attack at Fort Hood. He was one of four soldiers - including the gunman - killed. An additional 16 were wounded.
Muntean told the AP she has heart problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her 54-year-old daughter sought her out, and the two met on March 23, she said.
"She finds one child and loses another," said Betty Goodwin, Muntean's niece and Owens' cousin.
Sitting on her recliner on Wednesday, Muntean saw news on television of the attack at Fort Hood.
Unable to reach her son, she called his new wife, Billie Owens, who first said he was in the hospital. Before long, Owens' wife called back, and Muntean had her worst fears confirmed.
"She said, 'Mom, I want to tell you how sorry I am. Tim's gone,'" Muntean said. "I broke down. I'm 77 years old and I can't hardly take this."
Goodwin said Muntean was told by Owens' wife that he was shot in the chest.
Owens' cousin, Glen Welton of Effingham, said Owens grew up with military dreams.
"He was one of those kids who wanted to wear camouflage and wanted to wear bomber jackets and sunglasses," said Welton, himself a National Guard veteran of Iraq. "It took him a few years before he got himself in."
Owens dropped out of high school in 1995, according to his mother and school records. She said he earned his GED diploma after joining the Army in 2004.
Welton said he ran into Owens last year at a funeral and the two figured out they had served in Iraq at the same time. Welton was there from 2005-06.
A photo from that day shows Welton with his arm around Owens, who wore his Army dress uniform, including a beret, and a pair of dark sunglasses.
"He had grown into a man. The military had made him a complete man," Goodwin said. "I sure know he cleaned up pretty with his uniform."
Owens was one of Muntean's four children. A younger son died eight years ago after a lifelong disability, Goodwin said.
Family said Owens had been previously married and had children from that marriage.
A trauma center outside the base said the conditions had improved for three people who sustained critical injuries in the attack. Dr. Matthew Davis, trauma director at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, expressed optimism nobody else would die from their injuries. Several patients were released from the hospital Thursday.
One of the wounded was identified as Maj. Patrick Miller, a 32-year-old Iraq War veteran from western New York, the state's Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. Miller, who lives with his wife outside Austin, Texas, is a native of Allegany in Cattaraugus County. Information on his condition hasn't been released.
Efforts to contact Miller's family members by phone and email on Thursday weren't initially successful. His parents, Carole and Dr. John Miller, were en route to Texas Thursday, according to local media reports.
It's called - fate. If there is anyone in your life that you love and care about - be sure to let them know. Never go to be angry. Never part with anyone you care about without saying - I love you. It may sound a bit mushy - but when someone you love is gone - that's it. Too many times people only realize this when it is too late. My heart goes out to this woman and all the others who lost a loved one on this day.
Very sad for the families that this happened. Chuck Hagel needs to do more than investigate and say things like "we will get to the bottom of this." Something went very wrong with security on the base. Another question I have is about the medication prescribed to people. The medical community also needs to come clean. Sometimes it seems that the government is very lax on allowing the medical community to prescribe drugs that begin to look like using humans as guinea pigs in test situations.
Its not Chuck Hagel fault that allows the loose laws for gun ownership.
You really are stupid.
Associated Press | Sep 19, 2013 | by Pauline JelinekWASHINGTON - The top doctor for Green Berets and other elite Army commandos has told troops to immediately stop taking mefloquine, an anti-malaria drug found to cause permanent brain damage in rare cases.
why? got to be a reason, I understand the previous killings, but not this one, sick world,to lose people you love for no reason.
RIP for all The Soldiers who died
Every time these things happen I too can hardly imagine how everyone must feel. Nothing in life is fair, and I do not know why these people have to suffer these things. I know, we are not supposed to understand, however, somehow this does not comfort the family, nor make me understand that train of thought. It is all just unthinkable. Bless them in their time of sorrow.
Folks, I have no idea why these things are in duplicate on my computer. Hey AOL explain it to me please. I do not put it there 2 x.
I personally served with SGT Owens; he was a great Soldier and NCO, the Army lost a great leader and he will truly be missed! My heart goes out to his family, friends, and Army family (Dog Face Soldier, Rock of the Marne!).
My very first thought after I heard the man had "psychological problems" was to question whether he was on Ambien. Then I heard that he was on this very dangerous, mind-altering, amnesia-causing, personality-changing drug. That drug should be TAKEN OFF THE MARKET! It should have never been approved due to the dangerous side effects. How many people have to die unnecessarily due to this drug? How many suicides have been committed while on this drug (also one of the side effects)? I know a man who had 2 car accidents while taking this drug, and this happened the day after he took it. He had no memory of getting into his car. Thankfully, he wasn't injured and the only damage was to his own vehicle. Maybe the drug caused this soldier to do what he did, and maybe it didn't. But it certainly needs looking into.
Muntean RECEIVED???? the call of her son's death? It's completely unethical to do so. Instead, the army must make a personal visit to a designated family member issued upon the soldier signing up! It's devastating news and who knows IF her health could stand the shock!? Military administration needs as strict discipline the same way they force their soldiers to take orders!
Her son's wife was the next-of-kin and would have received the death notification not his mother. The mother called his wife when she heard about the shooting who told her he was in the hospital. Later, the wife called to tell her he'd been killed.
It's the military's job to notify the next of kin - wife.
My question to you is have you ever served under combat. Then WW 1 and 2 referred to PSTD as Battle Fatugue. Until 10 years ago, you didn't have instant information as we do now. If it didn't fit into your local newspapers space you didn't hear much at all. Having watched how these guys are changed up close, I hope you never have the experience. "Attention, please give me a break,