Injured Utahn helped other troops at Fort Hood
Weber soldier aided others after shooting despite being shot
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
WASHINGTON TERRACE — These emotions weren't supposed to come yet.
The worry, the heartache, the fear: They were expected later, once Aggie Foster's son deployed to Afghanistan, not on Thursday while he still was awaiting his deployment at a Texas Army base.
Aggie Foster was at work at Ogden Regional Medical Center when her daughter-in-law called to tell her that a gunman had walked into Fort Hood's Soldier Family Readiness Center and shot her youngest son, Joey, an Army private first class, in the hip.
Aggie Foster began to buckle, but Joey's wife, Mandy, assured her that Joey was OK, and the mother talked with her son Thursday and Friday.
Joey Foster, 21, has only been in the Army for a year, following in his brother's footsteps. But his training kicked in during the mayhem at Fort Hood, his mother said.
Thirteen people died and 30 were wounded when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, believed to be the lone shooter, began firing. Included among the dead was 19-year-old Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka of West Jordan.
Tyler Broadway, a spokesman for Fort Hood, said officials there don't plan to release a complete list of casualties until family members of all wounded or killed have been notified. But he expects to announce a base-wide memorial service within the next few weeks.
Joey Foster was standing in line when Hasan began shouting in Arabic and firing. He was hit in the fleshy part of his hip, his mother said.
Despite being wounded, Joey Foster began helping others evacuate the readiness center, his mother said, an act he told her was just part of doing his job.
In fact, Aggie Foster said, it embarrasses her son that some have called his efforts heroic.
"He feels that he's no hero," she said.
But Aggie Foster, a labor and delivery nurse who has seen plenty of emergency situations, says she's glad her son's training kicked in when it did so he could go to work and help people.
"You just do what you do, and that's your job," she said. "I'm proud he was able to do that."
It's too early for the Fosters to know if Joey's deployment to Afghanistan will remain in effect.
Now that they know he's safe, their hearts are reaching out to the families whose loved ones aren't coming home.
"I'm sad for the ones who didn't make it home," Aggie Foster said.
In a statement released Friday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert thanked Foster for his service.
"(We) send our prayers to him for a speedy recovery from his injuries," Herbert said.
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