Killed at Fort Hood
The 20th Engineers was the unit which suffered the most casualties--four killed and eleven wounded.
This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Soldiers of the 20th Engineers salute their fallen brothers

These are the four soldiers of the 20th Engineers killed at Fort Hood:

  • Pfc. Aaron Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

    Nemelka graduated from high school and enlisted in the military in the same year -- 2008. He was set to deploy to Afghanistan in January, his family told CNN affiliate KUTV.

    Nemelka, the youngest of four children, was happy to offer his service, the family said in a letter read aloud by Lt. Col. Lisa Olsen of the National Guard to KUTV.

    "Aaron was very happy as a combat engineer. He was anxious to be deployed to Afghanistan in January."

    Family members said they were devastated by their loss.

    Nemelka's uncle, Maj. Michael Blades, read a statement from his nephew's family.

    "Aaron was very proud to serve in the military," Blades said, adding that many others in his family had also served in the armed forces.

    "His mission is completed in this life. He now serves a higher calling in heaven," Blades read. "We love him, we miss him, and we look forward to that glorious day when the family will be reunited with him."

    Nemelka had a girlfriend and he may have had plans to marry her, KUTV reported.

    Mother of Aaron Nemelka, Teena Nemelka, hugs the picture of Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah, and touches the boots of the fallen soldier memorial.

  • Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolinbrook, Ill. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

    Michael Pearson, 22, enlisted in the Army more than a year ago to realize his musical dream. He hoped the military would be his path to college, where he could study musical theory, his brother Kristopher Craig told CNN affiliate WGN-TV in Chicago, Illinois.

    "He was a genius as far as we were concerned," Craig told WGN-TV, reeling from the news that his 21-year-old "little kid brother" was dead.

    "He was really living his life playing guitar," Craig said. "When he picked up a guitar, we all understood that he was expressing himself."

    Pearson was scheduled to deploy either to Iraq or Afghanistan in January, his brother said. He was learning to deactivate bombs and training in the Mojave Desert, said his mother, Sheryll Pearson. She was looking forward to seeing her son at Christmas.

    He was shot three times in the spine and chest and died on the operating table, she said, according to TV affiliates in Chicago.

    "His father is still in shock and very angry," Sheryll Pearson said. "We're all very angry."

    Craig, who also had been stationed at Fort Hood and now serves in the Illinois National Guard, said he cannot accept a fellow soldier gunned down his brother.

    "It's unfathomable," he said. "I couldn't imagine something like that -- attacking another soldier. It's just ridiculous. I don't understand it."

    A dogtag belonging to PFC Michael Pearson, at the Memorial Ceremony at Fort Hood

  • Spc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minn. He was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

    Kham Xiong, 23, was preparing for his first deployment since joining the Army, his sister told CNN affiliate KARE.

    Xiong enlisted last year and was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in January, Mee Xiong said.

    She thinks her brother was at the site of the shooting because he was getting a medical checkup and vaccinations, she said.

    With another brother serving in Afghanistan, the news of Kham Xiong's death is "hard on the family," his sister said.

    "He is a loving person, everyone loves him and adores him," Mee Xiong told KARE. Xiong was the father of three children.

    [It is also reported that Xiong's father fought against the communists in Laos.]

    The family of Kham Xiong at the Fort Hood Memorial Ceremony

  • Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, Tenn. Greene was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion.

    Soldiers and Colors of the 20th Engineers honoring their fallen brothers


    News reports indicate 11 soldiers of the 20th Engineers were wounded in the attack at Fort Hod:

    Matthew Cooke

    Private Joseph Foster

    Wounded soldiers of the 20th Engineers leaving III Corps HQ after meeting with the President

    Soldiers of the 20th Engineers receiving recognition from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff