” The scars from May 26 will be with us all for years. But we cannot allow the actions of one person to control us and continue destroying this family.”


By Kirk Bertolet

Kirk Bertolet

I am a signalman working at VTA’s Way, Power and Signals, Guadalupe Division. Like many of my coworkers I witnessed the horrific event May 26, 2021. I know the pain and suffering of my fellow employees and families that have been devastated by Sam Cassidy’s mass shooting rampage. Recently, I was informed of Henry Gonzales’s death and again am struck by his passing. The actions of Cassidy initially took the lives of nine of our family and from his grave he has taken another.

Henry Gonzales

I know what Henry was going through as far as what we witnessed. I do not know what other things were happening in his life that may have compounded his situation. I will neither admit nor deny having similar thoughts. I can imagine others of my VTA family are suffering similarly.

What I want to tell each of you is that we cannot allow Cassidy to win anymore. He wanted to harm VTA and it appears he has accomplished his goal. It is now up to us to stop his rampage. Collectively and individually, we can do this. It is not going to be easy, and it will not be something that will happen overnight.

What I have done personally is reached out for help. If you are struggling at all, please get help. If you need more info on who to talk to, I am available anytime.

And together we can work through this. I knew I was not going to be able to deal with the event by myself. Of all the things I have been through in my life, this was going to be way beyond my ability to control. Fortunately, I have been able to access people at the VA who are experts in this area of trauma. I am doing better but have a long hard road ahead. The fact is we all have a tough road ahead.

The scars from May 26 will be with us all for years.

But we cannot allow the actions of one person to control us and continue destroying this family.

Just remember this. Please do not apply a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I am available to any VTA employee or family member. We can talk or I can direct you to resources. As Cassidy’s goal was to harm others, my goal is to undo what he has done as much as possible.


Kirk Bertolet is a Morgan Hill resident who works for the VTA and witnessed the mass shooting that killed several of his co-workers on May 26.

 

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