Fort Hood hero moves back to NC; calls recent shootings 'heartbreaking'
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CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. – The third anniversary of the Fort Hood shootings that left a dozen people dead and more than 30 injured is almost two months away, and the woman credited with helping take down the shooter is returning to her Carolina roots.
For Carolina Beach native Kim Munley, browsing through her family's hardware store is just one small perk of coming back home.
"We started our lives back here again and it's the best decision we ever made,” she said. Being back home is, I can't believe I was gone for so long."
Munley and her fiance moved back to North Carolina a year ago after leaving Fort Hood. She was deemed a national hero for her efforts in helping to stop the shooting massacre and accused gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan.
She says while her fame has worn off, it has not gone away completely.
"Even today in the grocery store, I had a woman approach me and introduce me to her mother and her sister and knew to the detail and was hugging my neck, so it still happens," said Munley.
After her time working with the military, Munley became a SWAT instructor for a federal contractor and is transitioning into investigative work within the company. Even though she is moving on with her life, her thoughts are never far from her experience at Fort Hood.
"I never deal with it well. I don't think anyone does. Especially living through it. As a whole, I think the response was great, but in armchair quarterback, you know, I just think I wish I could have gotten there sooner,” she said.
Recent news of shootings are still hard for her to hear.
"The Louisiana shootings and the ambushed officers and Colorado, it's heartbreaking,” Munley said. “It really is. It's hard to think we live in a world where things only seem to be getting worse."
But life is only looking up for Munley; her two daughters, 15-year-old Hope and 5-year-old Jayden; and her finance, Brandon, who she is set to wed on Veterans Day.
"Now that we are back and here all of the time, we are just one big, happy family again," she said.
Munley says she still whole-heartedly supports the military organizations. She is set to participate in her second mud run with Step Up for Soldiers in October.