Gloria Garces kneels in front of crosses at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Associated Press/John Locher)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

U.S. Army doctors who treated victims of the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, said the emergency room scene was like a war zone, except for one difference: None of the wounded had been protected by body armor.

Critically wounded patients began arriving at local hospitals in El Paso less than a half hour after a lone gunman, armed with a rifle, entered a nearby Walmart and began shooting.

Victims suffered from high-velocity gunshot wounds that tore open flesh, shattered bone and destroyed tissue in their arms, legs, abdomens and chests, Army Lt. Col. Justin Orr, chairman of orthopedic surgery at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, told recently.

Orr was the orthopedic trauma surgeon on call at Del Sol Medical Center the day of the Aug. 3 shooting as part of an established partnership the Army medical community in El Paso holds with local hospitals.

Staff at Del Sol were notified of the mid-morning shooting soon after it began.

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