Today is a day to honor the men and women in uniform who served their country.

Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos says this Veterans Day is even more significant,  just days after the massacre at Fort Hood.

“It’s a very sad tragedy  … they’re preparing to go to combat operations in theater and this type of incident would happen on our soil at one of our largest military bases.”

Several Wisconsin soldiers are at Fort Hood as part of Madison’s 467th Medical Detachment, a combat stress unit, two of whom were killed and four wounded. Scocos says those stress units are very important in assisting members of the military with mental health issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Scocos, who recently returned from his second tour-of-duty in Iraq, says he was stunned when he heard about the tragedy in Texas.

“Yeah, I was very stunned. Dorrie, who is the federal vet center supervisor, I commissioned her in her direct commission to captain almost two years ago before my last deployment. I wish the very best — my sympathy goes to the family members and it’s a very sad situation for our country.”

Dorrie Carskadon is a clinical social worker with the US Army Reserve and an expert in PTSD. She’s part of the Madison-based unit. The 47-year old was shot twice in the hip and a bullet grazed her head. She’s expected to have a full recovery.

Two Wisconsin soldiers were killed: 29-year-old Amy Krueger of Kiel and 51-year-old Russell Seager of Mount Pleasant. Three other Wisconsin soldiers were wounded — 23-year-old Grant Moxon of Lodi, 28-year-old John Pagel of North Freedom, and 19-year-old Amber Bahr of Random Lake.

Scocos says members of the armed forces pay a big price for our freedom, and it’s important to find the state and federal funds to support veterans programs.

U.S. House Democrat from Wausau Dave Obey says as we celebrate Veterans’ Day, it’s important to remember that while we may be divided on where we stand on the war, this nation must be united in seeing that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are welcomed home with compassion. He says supporting our troops is a mandate – not a slogan.

There are currently about 427,000 veterans in Wisconsin.

After attending the Veterans Day ceremony at the state capitol at 10:00 am, Scocos encourages everyone to visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, which honors veterans of all eras from the Badger State, and those who are currently in harm’s way.

Jackie Johnson report (2:08)

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