A 24-year-old Hampden man will be on funeral detail this week in the aftermath of the shooting rampage Thursday in Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people have died and 38 more were injured.
Cindy Boudreau of Hampden said her son Spc. Travis Boudreau, a 2004 Hampden Academy graduate stationed at Fort Hood who works as a mechanic in a motor pool on the base, told her he will help send bodies of the dead back to their hometowns in the coming days.
“He does funeral detail as extra duty, and he’s proud to do it,” Cindy Boudreau said Friday afternoon. “He called this morning that they will be transporting the bodies on an airplane to be transported home.”
Thursday’s incident made for a few harrowing hours for Cindy Boudreau after she received a text message from Travis Boudreau, who was working just four blocks from the shootings.
“It was just horrendous,” she said of the approximately 7½ hours her son was in lockdown, with the shades drawn, on the Army base. “It was scary, it was confusing. … I was sitting on pins and needles for a long time.”
An investigation into the shooting deaths is continuing and President Barack Obama ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until Veterans Day, which is Wednesday.
The suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, remained hospitalized Friday in a coma, attached to a ventilator. The Army psychiatrist was shot four times after the rampage began around 1:30 p.m. local time.
Cindy Boudreau said she was hunting Thursday behind her house on Fowlers Landing Road when she received a text message from her son that a gunman at Fort Hood had killed seven and wounded 10 — those numbers would climb later in the afternoon — and that the base was in lockdown.
After reading the message she returned home to watch television news for the rest of the day, sending text messages back and forth with her son.
She declined to reveal what Boudreau knew of or thought of the shootings because of the investigation.
After the lockdown ended Thursday and people were allowed to leave the base, it took Travis Boudreau about 1½ hours to drive the four miles home because of all the traffic. He talked to his mother on a cell phone during the ride, she said.
“I was one of the fortunate people to get a call, a good call,” Cindy Boudreau said. “My thoughts now go out to families that lost their loved ones.”
For the mother, it was a more nerve-wracking time than her son’s deployment to Afghanistan two years ago.
“There, you’re at war and you expect it,” said Cindy Boudreau, who added she coincidentally received on Thursday a Thanksgiving flower bouquet from Travis, who is staying in Texas for the holiday. “Here, you don’t. You don’t even think of something like this happening on a military base.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report