Virginia Tech Massacre Affects Local Family

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One Wiregrass family is counting their blessings when their son attending graduate school at Virginia Tech University.

For Angela McNeal Monday morning was like any other routine morning, working at the Dothan Regional Airport.

She checked her e-mails and sent some back. But then the normalcy of a routine day at the office was interrupted.

"I was working and I received a phone call from my son, and he informed me that there had been a shooting at Virginia Tech where he goes to school," said Angela.

After the shootings, Jonathan called his mother to let her know that he was off campus and ok.

Jonathan said, "You never want to make that kind of phone call but you know it was just a feeling of disbelief. But most of all, we just wanted to let them know that we were ok up here."

But news of Monday's massacre still deeply affected the McNeal Family

"I just realized that could have been my child," said Angela

Jonathan’s father Bruce said, "That something this tragic can happen not only to the Virginia Tech family but to the nation as a whole, it just sends chills up your spine."

"You hate for this thing to happen anywhere but especially somewhere that's somewhat dear to you. It's just absolutely sickening to know that something like this can happen," said Jonathan

Jonathan says he plans to move forward and finish his fourth year in medical school, and that even though Virginia Tech's security measures will be scrutinized, he says there's no where he feels safer than in Hokie Country.

Some of Jonathan's classmates were actually working at some of the local hospitals in Blacksburg, Virginia, where the wounded were taken after the shootings.

As for the McNeal's, they say their hearts go out to the families of the victims, who will continue to be in their prayers.


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