UVALDE, Texas — Bob Hanus is an EMT in Uvalde County and also a man of faith.
"We've seen stuff like this in other places," Hanus said. "But when it's in your own backyard?"
He's walking with a cross in support of the students returning to school Tuesday after the tragedy at Robb Elementary three months ago.
"They need to know that there's people who not only remember, but people are willing to share and to pray and and just be there," Hanus said. "I give hugs as much as I give prayers. And that is what it is all about—just loving."
Tuesday was an especially poignant day in Uvalde as students, teachers and staff returned to school for the first time since the shooting.
"I know this pain that they're going to carry the rest of their lives, and I understand that. And I would not even be presumptuous to know what parents are going through, sending their kids back to school today," Hanus added. "But I do know that there are people that love them."
Hanus says he has been carrying the cross to different communities since 1993, after hitting what he called "rock bottom" and struggling with a cocaine addiction.
He has gone on to serve as an EMT, firefighter, fire chaplain and police chaplain. He says he hopes that traversing the town with his cross can bring comfort on a difficult day.
"My daughter-in-law is a teacher, and my son and daughter-in-law are both in the fire department as well. We all serve as first responders; it hits close to home. It really does."
If you would like to help the community via the many charitable efforts for victims' families, click here for a list of resources.