TEMPLE, Texas -- Rick Phillips is on a first-name basis with the staff at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

'I knew they were in need, so it was like, 'Angela, I'll be right down!'' he said. He obviously gives often, but this day was different.

'It's just the right thing to do,' he said. 'Somebody's gotta care.'

As he donated blood, Allison Terry sat beside him, donating too. Terry and Phillips are both hospital employees. And one floor above them, in the intensive care unit at Scott and White, nine American soldiers were getting care.

'Fort Hood is the heart of our country, in my opinion,' Terry said.

And that heart is breaking.

'They do what they have to do for our country and they protect us. This shouldn't have happened,' she said.

Helicopters rushed the most critical of the 16 shooting victims Wednesday to Scott & White, the nearest Level One trauma center. It's located about 30 minutes from Fort Hood.

By Thursday night, all the victims who'd been treated there had been discharged except for three, who suffered the most serious wounds. They were shot in the abdomen, neck, and spine. But doctors are optimistic.

'I'd say in terms of life-threatening events right now, I feel pretty good for our patients, but we still have some time to go before I declare them completely out of the woods,' said Dr. Matthew Davis, director of trauma services at Scott & White.

Those who had been awake and alert were in good spirits, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Sibbitt.

'It's an honor to treat these members of the military. Even in the face of such injuries, they conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism and stature,' he said.

This community has been through this before, so it is doing what it knows how to do: Coming together, and healing together.

'Absolutely, we always do, of course,' said Temple resident and blood donor Shelly Repp. 'We're a tight-knit community -- we have a lot of soldiers, and we support our military very strongly, particularly in Central Texas.'


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