A New Jersey soldier was among those wounded in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
Alan Carroll, a 20-year-old man from Bridgewater, was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan in January and was inside the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hodd when gunfire shattered the normalcy of an otherwise routine day.
In their first media interview since Carroll was shot, his grandparents told NBC New York that the young weapons specialists was shot four times and underwent surgery last night, but will be OK.
"As soon as we heard what happened, we tried to call his cell phone and there was no answer," said his grandfather, Keith Mullen. "Later that evening his mother called and said the hospital had called, so we knew he was one of the ones ..."
Still, the six hour drive from Pennsylvania to the Carroll family home seemed so much longer. Not knowing was the worst part, they said.
Finally, they spoke to Carroll from his parents' home and only then "did we feel the burden left from our shoulders," said the young man's grandmother, Mary Mullen.
Sadly, their joy that their grandson survived was tempered by their sadness than 13 others did not.
Carroll was hit in each arm, the chest and one leg. He lay bleeding for more than an hour before rescuers could get to him. The Army flew his parents to Texas yesterday; his grandparents spoke to him at the Texas hospital where he is recovering.
"We're still kinda on a recovery process over the shock of what happened down there," said his grandfather. "The full impact took a while to sink in and realize just how blessed we are that one of ours survived."
Keith Mullen retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of service to his country and said he can't fathom a fellow enlisted man opening fire on his comrades.
"You would think, especially the background of this individual, the shooter, being a psychiatrist," he said. "My goodness, what is the world coming to?"
The Mullens say they didn't talk to their grandson about his future with the Army because they're living in the moment. His grandmother says Carroll is "so happy to be in the Army. He just loves his job and is looking forward to going over to Afghanistan, which we weren't, but that's what he wanted to do."
"We have a lot to be thankful for this year, that's for sure," she said.
Carroll joined the Army after he graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan High School in 2007.