Son Serving At Fort Hood Is Safe, Family Relieved

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TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP -- The shooting at Fort Hood in Texas hits extremely close to home for a family in Monroe County. They are the father and stepmother of Fort Hood's Army chaplain assistant.

Sgt. Robert Burns called his parents in Monroe County just minutes after they learned that shots were fired at Fort Hood Wednesday.

They knew their son was OK.  Now the Army chaplain assistant is trying to help those grieving after a second deadly shooting on the military base in Texas.

Sgt. Burns joined the Army right after graduating from Pocono Mountain West High School.  Now at age 25 he's the Army chaplain assistant at Fort Hood in Texas

Stepmother Betty Burns of Pocono summit Says her heart sank when she saw news of the shooting on TV.

"Then the phone rang and he said 'I won't call you for a while, so just know that things are helter skelter.'  'Gone to hell' is what he said, really," Burns recalled.

Officials say four people are dead, including the shooter and 16 others were hurt.

Now Betty says Sgt. Burns will help comfort families and soldiers caught in the crossfire of the second mass shooting at the base.

"One of the guys that was injured was one of his friends and part of his unit. So he's taking that a little personally but he has to be detached from all of that."

Miles away from Texas in Monroe County, Burns' stepmother fights back tears herself  knowing that her son could have been a victim.

"It affects everybody all the way around, all this stuff.  We've got to find some way to bring peace and harmony to everybody."

She's heard from her son twice now on the phone, thankful to hear his voice, thankful he's not a victim.

Burns says Fort Hood needs support to get through this shooting that's taken the lives of soldiers here at home.

"Just everybody pray, for the families, and for those that were injured."

Burns says her son was in debriefings throughout the day but that the base's lockdown was lifted.