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Local Navy veterans saddened to learn about Navy Yard shooting

Aaron Alexis

Aaron Alexis

Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 --- 8:50 p.m.

Every Monday night, Leo Endres and his wife Joyce come out to the VFW on Cottage Grove for chip night. But on this particular evening of drinks and conversation with friends, Endres can't help but think about the morning's tragic events at the Washington Navy Yard.

"You got feelings for all of them," Endres said. "You get feelings for any troops that, even regular Navy or not, that we've been there and done that. And it's sad that something's got to happen like this here."

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Endres joined the military at 17, just after high school graduation.

"I spent a little over 16 months in Guam," he said. "Then I was transferred to a submarine rescue ship. And we spent six months out at sea and then we came back in."

Endres says he was shocked to turn on the news Monday, and hear about a gunman opening fire on the men and women with the same job title as him.

"You know, hopefully it wasn't a fellow Navy veteran who turned on his own people," Endres said. "That's all you can hope."

It was confirmed Monday that the Navy Yard gunman, Aaron Alexis, 34, was a member of the Navy Reserves.

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