JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. - A Johnson County native killed in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood in Texas is being remembered as a hero for charging a man determined to kill.
We spoke with his mother and step father about the month-long trial and ultimate death sentence for the man who killed their son.
"Now that the trial is over, there is not closure," said Karen Nourse. "I'm still a mother without a child."
Karen Nourse will always have a major void in her life. Her son, Army Specialist Fred Greene, was gunned down during a 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.
The family spent nearly the entire month of August in Texas for the trial of Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist ultimately convicted and sentenced to die for the massacre. "Sitting in the same room with the man that murdered our son was extremely difficult. His indifference to the actions that he's taken was even more difficult," she said.
Nourse told us she has anger toward Hasan that is rooted so deep in her soul that she may never get over it.
However, she says finds comfort in knowing her son, who always wanted to be a soldier, died a hero. During the trial prosecution witnesses revealed the 29-year-old from East Tennessee was shot a dozen times while charging Hasan in an attempt to stop him. "He [only] had an ink pen, and he was charging a murderer who was shooting him while he was running towards him. He stood their with an automatic weapon and handgun just shooting [Fred]," she said.
Greene is credited with slowing Hasan's progress and ultimately saving lives while losing his own.
Nourse testified during the sentencing phase of Hasan's trial and she wanted to send a strong message. "You should be ashamed," she said to Hasan. "You are not a martyr, not a saint, you're not a solider of Allah. You are a cold-blooded murderer, short and simple."
Fred Greene left behind a wife and two young daughters. This will be first year the family has attempted holiday celebrations for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Greene's mother is slowly trying to move forward. "I'm going to do a fundraiser for the memorial that is going up. I'm starting a newsletter for the families of the fallen that we have spent quite a bit of time with," she said.
And she hopes her son is remembered as the quiet, low-key soldier who never wanted a lot of attention.
Nourse plans to release details of a local fundraiser to help with the memorial construction in a couple of weeks.
A bridge dedication in Fred Greene's honor in Mountain City that was postponed last week due to the trial will be rescheduled soon.
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