On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

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Our country often doesn’t truly realize the time and training and sacrifice that goes into preparing our Warriors for serving and protecting us all over this world. We somehow think that our sons and daughters, who were just yesterday playing basketball in the driveway or video games with friends or just worrying about assignments due at school, all of a sudden are turned into warriors without any danger or sacrifice. It is our responsibility to recognize the tremendous amount of effort that goes into making these kids down the block into men and women who stand ever ready to defend us against our enemies. Two years ago, during what we now know to be a questionable training exercise, we lost nine precious lives. Families and survivors have been forever changed, their path in life significantly altered.

These men and women died here on our soil. They woke up that morning ready to learn and ready to complete just another training mission like any other. They never knew this would be their last day here or the fear and doubt that would surround their passing. As Americans, we honor them. We honor them for signing on the dotted line, for their dedication to each other, for their passion for their country and its people and for their devotion to their mission. We remember them as regular people preparing to do amazing things…as Warriors. But we also remember them as ours, as our sons, daughter’s, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, and friends. We remember them in how they lived and what courage it took to do so. We pause and take note that Warriors are not born but molded and their sacrifices never ever forgotten. -The Fort Hood Fallen (June 2, 2018)

Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, of Twentynine Palms, California
Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, of Milton, Florida
Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, of Brooklyn, New York
Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas
Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, of Palmetto, Florida
Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina
Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey
Spc. Yingming Sun, 25, of Monterey Park, California
Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, of Valparaiso, Indiana

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX):

Mr. Speaker, Texas has been hammered by historic torrential rain and flooding. As the Texas floodwaters rose, 12 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were crossing Owl Creek in a 21⁄2-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle when it became stuck in the Owl Creek low water crossing.

Suddenly, the vehicle was swept over and sent downstream by fast-moving water. Nine American soldiers drowned in the massive flood waters. Today, we remember them, and here they are: Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon Vazquez, 38, from New York.

He had just spent four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; Specialist Christine Armstrong, 27, of California; PFC Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida; PFC Zachery Fuller, 23, of Florida; Private Isaac Deleon, 19, of Texas. He was the youngest of all of them.

He had only been in the Army for 17 months; Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, of North Carolina—a former homecoming queen; Private Tysheena James, 21, of New Jersey; West Point cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, of Indiana; Specialist Yingming Sun, 25, of California. These are the nine who drowned recently in the Texas floods.

The soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. These American soldiers were volunteers who swore to protect the United States.

They were a cut above the rest and were ready to defend freedom at home and abroad. Their lives were ripped from this world and their families all too soon. We are grateful for them and their families for their service and their sacrifices.

These soldiers are the best of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and their families, who have been devastated by the floods of Texas this spring.

Related Links:
The Faces of the Fort Hood Tragedy
Profiles of the Fort Hood Soldiers Tragically Killed By Texas Flooding
Fort Hood Flood Victims: Photos to Remember the Fallen Soldiers
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Training Accident & Army Response History:

Army: Warning issued before 9 died in June Fort Hood floodwaters
Torrential rains flood Texas, US soldiers killed
Fort Hood Was Closing Roads When Truck Overturned
Fort Hood Officials Were Closing Roads As Truck Overturned
Searchers recover bodies of 4 soldiers missing after training accident
Bodies of 4 Remaining Missing Soldiers Recovered: Officials
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Community mourns soldiers killed in accident
Tragedy strikes Ft. Hood once more as 9 soldiers die in training accident
9 Fort Hood soldiers dead after truck overturned in flood
Fort Hood Releases Names of Soldiers Killed in Training Accident
Fort Hood identifies soldiers killed in training accident
Fort Hood Death Toll Grows To 9 After Truck Overturns In Flooded Creek
Local soldier killed in Fort Hood training exercise
Jersey City Army Private died in Fort Hood flooding accident
San Angelo soldier killed in Fort Hood training accident
Milton man killed in Fort Hood training accident
Milton Soldier Among Those Killed In Fort Hood Flood Waters
Triton High School alumna among 9 killed in Fort Hood floods
N.J. soldier identified as victim in Fort Hood training accident
2 Floridians Among Those Killed In Fort Hood Accident
North Carolina woman among 9 killed in Fort Hood floods
2 SoCal Residents Among 9 Soldiers Killed in Fort Hood Accident
San Angelo soldier among those killed in Fort Hood training accident
North Carolina woman among 9 killed in Fort Hood floods
Palmetto soldier dies in Fort Hood accident
Palmetto soldier among 9 killed in Fort Hood training accident
Fort Hood Soldier’s Fiancée Is Planning Funeral Instead of Wedding
Killeen: Fort Hood soldier killed in training accident laid to rest
Soldier from San Angelo Among Dead in Fort Hood Drowning Incident
New Jersey, Brooklyn families of Fort Hood soldiers killed in flood fondly recall loved ones, but still struggle with grief
Fiancee of Ft. Hood Victim Reacts to Tragedy
Carter Offers Condolences to Families of Army, Marine Corps Accident Victims
Fort Hood Army Accident: Fundraising for Families of the 9 Victims Gets Complicated
Veterans provide flooding relief in the wake of Fort Hood deaths
Texas Floods: 9 Fort Hood Soldiers Dead, 3 Released From Hospital
Fort Hood deaths in flooding raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident in Texas raises questions about training
Army launches two investigations into Fort Hood truck accident that killed 9

‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited in Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited In Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
Safety ‘Apathy’ Blamed in Accident at Texas’ Ft. Hood That Killed 9 US Soldiers
Report: Fort Hood truck crash blamed on driver
NCO blamed for accident that killed nine soldiers at Fort Hood
Army blames staff sergeant for fatal Fort Hood truck accident
Fort Hood truck crash that killed 9 blamed on staff sergeant
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
Widow disputes investigation results blaming husband for Fort Hood accident
Army report on fatal Fort Hood training largely redacted
Herald asks Army to reveal investigation findings withheld from public
1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly

Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Reports still raise questions about Fort Hood accident two years later
Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the rollover accident, yet found at fault
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
2 years later: Survivor of fatal Fort Hood water training accident speaks out

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