His act, which killed 168 people, was the deadliest event of domestic terrorism in the United States, and the deadliest act of terrorism within United States borders until the September 11, 2001 attacks.Mc Veigh was born in Lockport, New York, and raised in nearby Pendleton, New York. He earned his high school diploma from Starpoint Central High School.Mc Veigh used methamphetamine with Fortier, according to the latter; however, he evidently was not as interested in drugs as Fortier, as one of the reasons they parted ways was Mc Veigh's boredom with Fortier's drug habits. Mc Veigh wrote letters to local newspapers, asking questions such as "Is civil war imminent?Do we have to shed blood to reform the current system?His grandfather introduced him to guns, with which he became fascinated.Mc Veigh told people he wanted to be a gun shop owner, and he sometimes took a gun to school to impress the other boys.After graduating high school with honors, he became intensely interested in gun rights and the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and devoured right-wing, pro-militia magazines such as Soldier of Fortune and Spotlight. Mc Veigh was shy and was said to have only had one girlfriend during his high school years.Mc Veigh would later tell journalists that he always said the wrong thing to women he was trying to impress.
He and his father were devout Roman Catholics who often attended daily Mass.
In a recorded interview with Time Magazine Mc Veigh professed his belief in "a God", although he said he had "sort of lost touch with" Catholicism and "never really picked it [back] up". Michel and Herbeck comment on the process of brutalization he went through as a recruit: "During dawn runs and their long, exhausting marches over the Georgia sand, their sound-offs revolved around killing and mutilating the enemy, or violent sex with women." He was a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served in the Gulf War, where he was awarded a Bronze Star. He served at Fort Riley, Kansas, before Operation Desert Storm.