Waco residents rally around hero, Fort Hood soldiers with donations

There Friday morning she wrote: “Kimberly Munley: A Real American Hero!”

The response was staggering. Only six hours after she posted that heading on Facebook, more than 2,500 people had chimed in with words of thanks and praise on the site.

“Isn’t that amazing,” Citrano said, adding, “We need a hero, and she was the face of a hero on Thursday. Everybody in the world wants to thank these people for what they’ve done.”

Munley, a 34-year-old mother of two, reportedly was doing traffic control when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a military mental health doctor facing deployment overseas, began spraying unarmed soldiers with gunfire.

He allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 30 others before Munley confronted him. They exchanged fire, and she struck Hasan four times while receiving three wounds herself in the hand and the leg.

Munley was listed in stable condition in a Central Texas hospital, while Hasan was on a ventilator.

The wounded were being treated at hospitals all over Central Texas served by Carter Bloodcare.

Waco-area residents flocked to the Carter Bloodcare center at 4332 W. Waco Drive after Thursday’s rampage.

“We were wall-to-wall. People were packed in like sardines, and there was a line out the door. Some donors were sitting on the pavement, waiting to get in,” said Janet Gregg, marketing coordinator for Carter in Central Texas.

The blood center typically sees 20 donors a day; on Thursday, it had 115.

On Friday, “we had 96 through the door by 1:15 in the afternoon,” Gregg said.

Angie McFarland, public relations director for the local American Red Cross office, said local residents have swarmed the office at 4224 Cobbs Drive to donate blood and sign a banner bound for Fort Hood next week.

“We’ve also seen a substantial increase in financial donations, and several retired military veterans have volunteered to help deliver emergency messages,” McFarland said.

McFarland added that the Red Cross is being swamped with calls from people who can’t reach their loved ones at Fort Hood and are turning to the Red Cross for information. She urged military personnel to use the “Safe and Well” link on the Red Cross Web site to give their relatives peace of mind.

Waco businessman Bill Johnson, owner of Johnson Roofing, has hosted parties at his Robinson-area home for soldiers at Fort Hood and invited the public out to show their appreciation.

Now, he said, he would like to organize a “Texas party” at Fort Hood that would feature bands and barbecue. He would like the event to include a caravan of vehicles driving to the sprawling military base.

“A date has not yet been set, but we’ve got to do something to show what we think of them,” Johnson said. “Waco needs to send these guys off with something very special in their hearts.”

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce joined the Killeen Chamber of Commerce in sending an e-mail to members, urging them to pause for a moment of silence at 1:35 Friday afternoon.

That’s the time the shooting started at Fort Hood on Thursday.