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Local News -

January 9, 2010

Reporter's Notebook: Family proud of wounded soldier

Family and friends rallied to help Army Spc. Matthew Cooke and his wife, Sara, relatives said when sharing stories about the aftermath of the shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas last year.

Cooke, who was shot four times and suffered serious injuries, continues his recovery at home in his off-post apartment in Killeen, Texas.

Cooke, 30, of Forward Support Company, 20th Battalion, 36th Brigade, was among 30 people injured when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire at the Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Processing Center on Nov. 5. Twelve soldiers and one civilian died.

On Nov. 5, Sara said, she had been running errands with Amanda Adams, a friend from the Family Readiness Group, when they heard news that a sergeant had been shot. Then another sergeant called her to say Cooke couldn't be located and to ask if she could check at home, she said.

But she knew Cooke wasn't home because she had the family's only car and the house keys, she said, and it wouldn't be like him to be "lazy" and be at home, not work. After returning home, she checked her e-mail and found out from a relative that Matthew had been shot.

"I was pretty much hysterical and crying," Sara said. Adams calmed her then and at other times since the shooting, she said.

Diane Frappier, Cooke's mother who lives in Norwood, N.C., said she took pride in the efforts by Matthew's siblings to travel from East Coast homes to be at their brother's side.

"Our family is very tight," Frappier said this week. "His whole family was extremely supportive."

Charges, including 13 counts of premeditated murder, were filed Nov. 12 against Hasan for the shooting incident at Fort Hood.

______

The Foothills Performing Arts Center is an important piece of the local community and arts picture, and the theater complex must be finished, Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said Wednesday.

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