East Texas veterans share reactions to Navy Yard shooting

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The shooting massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington stunnedthe nation early this week.

"Its unimaginable, it'scowardly and we all grieve for the people killed up there," saidTim James, Naval Academy Liaison.

Tuesday afternoon flags across East Texas were lowed to halfstaff, paying respect to 12 victims that lost their lives in the WashingtonNavy Yard shooting.

"It really hurts tosee anything like this happen here in the states," said ThomasGray, Navy Veteran.

Tim James has served as a Naval Academy Liaison for 13 yearsand says it's shocking to see on a military base.

"These are people ofservice, who are willing to put themselves out there for the people in thiscountry for our values and way of life," said James.

The gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis was a former navyreservist and a military contractor.

Army veteran Leo Delagarza says this is the type of attackhe'd expect overseas, not locally by an American citizen.

"It's kind ofheartbreaking we're supposed to defend the freedoms of the people of the UnitedState not hurt them ourselves," said Delagarza.

Veterans say itdoesn't matter what branch of military you served in, they are all a family.

"We all servetogether we all go to combat together so it's still hurts," saidDelagarza.

Among the 12 dead was a Navy veteran with29 years of serviceand several long time employees.

Navy veteran Thomas Gray says the shooting is a reminder toeveryone to stay aware of their surroundings.

"The civilians justneed be aware wherever they are in case of an emergency," saidGray.

The FBI said as a contract employee Alexis had legitimateaccess to the navy yard and he used a valid pass gain

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.