WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Today, the Navy and Marine Corps team collectively mourn the loss of four heroes. The tragedy in Chattanooga is both devastating and senseless. On behalf of the entire Department of the Navy family, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in service to our nation during this incident.
Throughout history our Sailors and Marines have served overseas, in harm's way, and the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps have experienced the deep and lasting pain of combat loss. Today, here at home, we once again feel that pain.
While we expect our Sailors and Marines to go into harm's way, and they do so without hesitation, an attack at home, in our community, is insidious and unfathomable. As the investigation unfolds, our priority will be to take care of the families of those affected.
I'd like to express my gratitude to the first responders on the scene whose prompt reaction was critical to stopping this individual from inflicting further violence.
Though we can never fully prevent attacks like this, we will continue to investigate, review and guard against future vulnerabilities and do everything in our power to safeguard the security of our service members and their families.