NJ Soldier wounded at Fort Hood

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November 7, 2009 6:44:27 AM PST
A New Jersey soldier was among those wounded in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood. Alan Carroll was so committed to helping other people, he joined the North Branch volunteer fire department when he was just 15 years old and used to ride his bike to the calls.

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    His fellow firefighters put up this message on Friday night -- Alan Carroll: Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Carroll, 20, joined the Army right out of high school and was preparing for his first deployment to Afghanistan Thursday when he was shot by a fellow soldier.

    "He was shot 4 times, just standing there. Next thing he knew he was on the ground," Chief Mike Russoniello of the North Branch Fire Department said.

    Carroll was shot in the chest, the leg, and both arms. His grandparents are staying at the family's Bridgewater home while Carroll's parents are at his hospital bedside at Fort Hood.

    "We spoke to him this afternoon. He sounded like Alan. Chipper. He wants to get out of the hospital," Keith Mullen said.

    Friends and colleagues say Carroll is an ambitious person with a passion for helping others. An avid snowboarder and BMX biker, he also was on the wrestling team at Bridgewater-Raritan High, where he graduated from in 2007.

    Carroll's determination and fighting spirit are nothing new to his fellow firefighters in Branchburg. Carroll was training for water rescues before he could drive and was active at countless fire scenes.

    "Alan's an upbeat kid. Always wanted to do something. Always wanted to be involved," Russoniello said.

    Carroll is the third generation in his military family, but twenty years in the Air Force could never have prepared his grandfather for an attack like this.

    "I couldn't believe it was an officer of the United States Army, then you learn he was a doctor. A psychiatrist. It's unfathomable," he said.

    "You'd think it would be a safe place, but it turned out not," his grandmother Mary Mullen said.

    Carroll was expected to return home briefly in December before he deployed to Afghanistan in January. Now his family is hoping he'll be home a lot sooner than that.

    His family says Carroll is eating now, regaining some of his strength and can't wait to go home.

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