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Rhoades' son stationed at Fort Hood, Texas

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news River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Michael Rhoades, son of State Rep. Kitty Rhoades of Hudson, is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and was not injured in the shooting spree last week that killed 13 and injured 30.

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"I received a text message from Michael Thursday saying he was okay," Rhoades said. "I had been involved in Assembly work in Madison that day and didn't know what he was talking about at first."

Rhoades soon learned of the shooting and was relieved to hear that her son was fine.

"Our prayers go the families impacted by this terrible tragedy," Kitty Rhoades said.

Michael Rhoades, 27, has been in the military for about a year and is in the JAG Corps as an Army lawyer. He has been stationed at Fort Hood since last spring. He is a 2000 Hudson High School graduate.

Kitty Rhoades said she visited Fort Hood once shortly after Michael was stationed there.

"The place is huge with about 70,000 or 80,000 people living on the base," Rhoades said.

Most recent estimates show an overall post population of about 71,000, of which are almost 42,000 soldiers. The rest are family members living on post, employees of the Army, employees, etc.

Fort Hood covers about 339 square miles, and is the largest active duty armored post in the United States. The sprawling base is located halfway between Austin and Waco.

The base is home to nine schools - seven elementary schools and two middle schools.

The suspected shooter is Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist trained to help soldiers in distress. According to news reports, he shouted "Allahu Akbar! (Arabic for "God is great)" before opening fire at the Texas post.

Hasan was shot four times during the rampage and was hospitalized in stable condition.

Fort Hood officially opened on Sept. 18, 1942, and was named in honor of Gen. John Bell Hood. It has been continuously used for armored training and is charged with maintaining readiness for combat missions.

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