Local woman killed in Ft. Hood shooting

November 6, 2009 3:39:11 PM PST
The Army says a pregnant woman originally from the Chicago area was killed at Fort Hood. Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago's Northwest Side, was among those killed in a shooting rampage Thursday on the Texas Army base.

Private Velez was three months pregnant and was scheduled to begin maternity leave in December.

Velez is the latest victim of the Fort Hood massacre. The family learned of her death late Thursday night. Father Juan Velez says there are no words that can express the pain he is feeling.

"It's very painful, it's a great loss. There are no words to express our sorrow," said Velez.

Velez had been in the service for three years and returned this week from a tour of duty in Iraq. She was in the third month of her pregnancy and was in Fort Hood filling out paper work when the gunman started shooting.

"A lot of things run through your mind and why it happened on a military base," said a family spokesperson.

Velez's father says he worried about her when she talked about her missions in Iraq and never expected something like this to happen to his daughter in the United States.

"There should have been a red flag. If he wanted a discharge for a reasons, they should have let him go," said Herbie Mojica, victim's uncle.

Velez's family says she was happy and loved her country and serving in the military.

"She was going to re-enlist and started a tour of duty in Korea and she served a tour duty in Iraq and she was in the processing phase and then this occurred," said the family spokesperson.

The family said the last time they saw her was August 28, her 21st birthday, when she came home.

"She came home in August, she came as a surprise," said Velez. "Of course, I am proud of her."

Family says that she was excited to be home. She called her mom saying how anxious she was to become a mother and looking forward to buying baby clothes. They were looking forward to seeing her and talking about the future grandchild. Now they are mourning the death of their daughter and grandchild.


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