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    ‘It’s OK Not to Be OK’: Special Operations Wing Orders Stand-Down After Roger Fortson’s Police Killing

    ‘It's OK Not to Be OK': Special Operations Wing Orders Stand-Down After Roger Fortson's Police Killing

    The special operations wing in Florida where Senior Airman Roger Fortson served before he was shot and killed by police on May 3 paused training Monday, allowing service members to grieve for their late teammate as his family prepared for a funeral.

    Fortson, who served as an AC-130J Ghostrider gunner with the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field near Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was killed by an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office deputy after a call about a disturbance led the officer to the 23-year-old's off- apartment. The officer shot Fortson multiple times within seconds of him answering the door with a legally owned firearm at his side.

    “Squadrons and work centers will have resources made available in order to have the difficult conversations, vent, cry, laugh, yell, and support each other,” Col. Patrick Dierig, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, said in a message to airmen that was obtained by .com. “I want all of you to know your voices matter and we all need to be connected in our grief. It's OK not to be OK.”

    Read Next: Experts Say Gun Alone Doesn't Justify Deadly Force in Fatal Shooting of Florida Airman

    Dierig told airmen to use the day to have small group discussions with fellow service members and to connect with resources being offered at squadron centers, as well as speak with commanders, senior enlisted leaders and chaplains to “lead you through this trying time.”


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