A clinical psychologist and colonel with the Medical Service Corps and U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Kathy Platoni ’74 has been featured in several articles about the recent tragedy at Fort Hood.
Platoni, who is also an Army Reserve Psychology Consultant to the Chief of the Medical Service Corps, was at the scene during the shooting.
“A lot of our soldiers were ripping off their shirts, shredding them into pressure bandages,” Platoni said. “We threw computers on the floor and grabbed tablecloths to use as blankets and went running for water. I was not the hero in this. I saw tremendous heroism in our soldiers rendering the best medical care you could get under the circumstances without any supplies. It was just amazing. Everybody helped.”
Thinking quickly, compassionately and selflessly, Platoni and other soldiers helped wounded soldiers, creating makeshift medical equipment out of what was on hand. She and another soldier were then positioned at the entrance of Fort Hood’s main building to ensure the shooter did not reenter.
Reflecting on the day, Platoni said, “It is an exquisitely painful process to relive the events of Nov. 5, 2009. I have lost dear friends and fellow soldiers, some of the finest and most noble individuals I have ever had the privilege to know and with whom I was so very honored to serve. I will miss them for all the rest of my days on this planet.
“The heroes in this situation are too numerous to mention, but I witnessed acts of courage and bravery beyond what most would be capable of offering to their fallen comrades. I wish I could have done so much more and felt so very helpless throughout. I am in a company of heroes-there is absolutely no doubt of that.”
A psychology major at the Colleges, it was at William Smith that Platoni says she learned to commit herself to a higher purpose. She went on to earn a master’s in education in 1975 from the University of Miami-Coral Gables and a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1985 from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.
It is because she is one of those incredible humanitarians, with an altruistic character and steadfast devotion to her fellow soldiers, fellow Americans and fellow humans, that on March 28, 2008, she was presented with the William Smith Alumnae Association’s Achievement Award, William Smith College Alumnae Association’s highest honor. It is awarded to an alumna who, by reason of outstanding accomplishments in her particular business, profession or community service, has brought honor and distinction to her alma mater.
The photo above of Platoni was taken on campus in 2008.