Salute to Fallen Foundation Honors Army Spc. Mason Webber; Vinton Today is First Publication to Honor & Acknowledge the Fort Hood Fallen (July 20, 2020)

Dear Vinton Today,

We want to personally thank you for not only honoring Spc. Mason Webber in your publication but for also acknowledging all of the Fort Hood Fallen since January 1, 2016. It means a lot to us and to the families that their loved ones have been recognized and that our fellow Americans care about all the men and women who have lost their lives while stationed at Fort Hood. We appreciate you.

Read more from Vinton Today here: Salute to the Fallen honors SPC Mason Webber with Motorcycle Ride (July 20, 2020)

Fort Hood Fallen

Click here for original source.

January 2016
1/3: Devin Schuette, 35, U.S. Army (found dead at BLORA near post, death ruled suicide, family wants independent investigation, suspicious death)
1/5: Jonathan “Mike” Gilotti, 33, U.S. Army Veteran (homicide victim, Alabama)
1/16: Troy Wayman, 45, U.S. Army (officer found dead, ruled suicide, Nolanville)

March 2016
3/6: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, U.S. Army (fatal auto accident off post, manslaughter)
3/14: Brian Reed, 40, U.S. Army (found dead w/ gunshot wound off post)
3/20: Andrew Poznick, 45, U.S. Army (officer found dead in Pennsylvania)
3/22: Steven Lewis, 33, U.S. Army (died of self-inflicted wound off post)

May 2016
5/1: John Stobbe, 31, U.S. Army (found dead off post, cause of death unknown)
5/9: Ellsworth Raup, 33, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post)
5/23: Marcus Nelson, 45, U.S. Army (died while in pre-trial confinement at local jail)

June 2016
6/2: Christine Armstrong, 27, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Brandon Banner, 22, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Isaac Deleon, 19, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Zachery Fuller, 23, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Eddy Gates, 20, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Tysheena James, 21, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Yingming Sun, 25, U.S. Army (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/2: Mitchell Winey, 21, U.S. Military Academy (died in flood water training incident on post)
6/5: Antino Glass, 34, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident on post)
6/6: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound on post)
6/8: Duane Shaw, 34, U.S. Army (found dead in off post home in Killeen)
6/11: Dougal Mitchell, 32, U.S. Army (fatal automobile accident off post)

July 2016
7/12: Alexander Johnson, 21, U.S. Army (found dead at BLORA near post, cod unknown)

August 2016
8/1: Logan Rainwater, 24, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, Killeen)
8/4: Calvin Aguilar, 32, U.S. Army (found dead off post, cod unknown)
8/19: Dion Servant, 24, U.S. Army (found dead on post, cod unknown)

September 2016
9/10: Stacy Hardy, 20, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained after a high-speed motorcycle crash while fleeing from the the Killeen Police Department)
9/13: Andrew Hunt, 23, U.S. Army (officer found dead at on post residence, cod unknown)
9/17: Nathan Berg, 20, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound off post)

October 2016
10/7: Bradley Acker, 25, U.S. Army (death was self-inflicted at off post residence)
10/15: Douglas Bailey, 24, U.S. Army (found dead at on post residence, cod unknown)
10/19: Douglas Riney, 26, U.S. Army (ambushed by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform)

November 2016
11/3: Dakota Stump, 19, U.S. Army (found dead on post 3 weeks after went missing, cod single vehicle accident, suspicious death, family wants ‘Missing Warrior Alert’ law)
11/10: Daniel Monibe, 32, U.S. Army (died of medical illness off post)
11/12: Tyler Iubelt, 20, U.S. Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
11/12: John Perry, 30, U.S. Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
11/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, U.S. Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana)
11/18: Korey James, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive in off post home, cod unknown)
11/26: Wanya Bruns, 20, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound off-post)

December 2016
12/6: Allan Brown, 46, U.S. Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
12/24: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, U.S. Army (found dead in vehicle at on post family housing, suspicious death, family wants case investigated as a homicide)

January 2017
1/1: Kai Yancey, 26, U.S. Army (died after complications from short illness)
1/2: Randal Anderson, 22, U.S. Army (died of gunshot wound off-post, Killeen)
1/7: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, U.S. Army (fatal auto accident on South Range Rd on post)
1/11: Alex Taylor, 23, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide, found dead at place of duty on post)
1/12: Zackary Partin, 24, U.S. Army (found dead in barracks room on post, cod unknown)

February 2017
2/5: Steven Hines, 29, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide, CID Agent found dead at place of duty on post after media exposes bizarre cluster of suicides & accidents on post)
2/6: Christie Anderson, 44, U.S. Army (found dead at off post residence, cod unknown)
2/17: Michael Garcia, 29, U.S. Army (died in vehicle training accident at Fort Irwin NTC)
2/18: Sean Callahan, 31, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa, cod unknown)
2/21: Brian Odiorne, 21, U.S. Army (non combat death in Iraq, death ruled suicide by CID)
2/27: Andre Nance, 34, U.S. Army (found dead on post at Fort Rucker, AL, cod unknown)

March 2017
3/26: Jonathan Garcia, 29, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, Harker Heights)

April 2017
4/7: Daniel Wildeman, 40, U.S. Army (found dead on post in barracks, cod unknown)
4/11: Darius Cooper, 40, U.S. Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after missing for two months, vehicle swept away in low water crossing on post)
4/16: David Ananou, 30, U.S. Army (death by apparent drowning at Belton Lake)
4/17: Justin Lewis, 19, U.S. Army (fatally shot near vacant lot in Killeen neighborhood, unsolved homicide)

May 2017
5/5: Travis Granger, 29, U.S. Army Veteran (fatal gunshot wound, ruled homicide)
5/14: Jon Bullard, 40, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off post residence in Temple, died next day)

June 2017
6/15: Devon Tucker, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off post residence in Copperas Cove)

July 2017
7/3: Anthony Lovell, 40, U.S. Army (multiple blunt force injuries, death ruled motorcycle accident by Killeen PD & Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences)
7/11: Justen Ogden, 22, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound, found at on post home, family claims circumstances surrounding death don’t add up)
7/14: James Smith, 24, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, under investigation)
7/26: Deangelo Mathis, 22, U.S. Army (found unresponsive in Georgia)

August 2017
8/2: Zachary Moore, 23, U.S. Army (death ruled suicide in S. Korea, an investigation revealed the Army was not able to get qualified medical help in a timely fashion)

September 2017
9/12: Sean Devoy, 28, U.S. Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training at Fort Hood)

October 2017
10/5: Derrick Walker, 40, U.S. Army (died of a long-term illness)
10/7: Michael Wolfe, 33, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly in Arizona)
10/12: Alva Gwinn, 39, U.S. Army (shot self after ‘wellness check’ & high speed pursuit with Killeen PD)
10/12: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, U.S. Army (found unresponsive on post)
10/14: Sameer Chalise, 28, U.S. Army (died due to injuries while swimming with friends)
10/14: John Hatfield, 27, U.S. Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen)
10/18: Luke Toomey, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Copperas Cove)

January 2018
1/6: Mark Boner, 43, Indiana Army National Guard (Army: ‘It’s unclear at this time what led to his death’)
1/8: Javion Sullivan, 24, U.S. Army (non-combat related incident, Iraq)
1/18: Tyler Compton, 21, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Harker Heights)

February 2018
2/5: Tyler Gabriel, 22, U.S. Army veteran (medical, lost his battle with addiction)
2/6: John Funderburk Jr., 24, U.S. Army (medical, died from a terminal illness in Irving)

March 2018
3/1: Colton Vassar, 29, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
3/3: Devon Wulff, 23, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
3/26: Aigner Certaine, 24, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence, Killeen)
3/30: Cameron Macias, 21, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

(FORT HOOD STOPPED ISSUING PRESS RELEASES NOTIFYING THE PUBLIC OF THE DEATH OF A SOLDIER)

April 2018
4/6: Samson Johnson, 20, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood, cod unknown)

May 2018
5/3: Dismas Dillree, 54, U.S. Army (medical, cancer)
5/27: Brian Slawson, 40, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood, cod unknown)

June 2018
6/29: Kevin M. Brown, 38, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly while stationed at Fort Hood, cod unknown)

July 2018
7/30: Timothy Jurgens, 19, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to the family)

August 2018
8/4: Cleveland Lewis, 33, U.S. Army veteran (fatally shot in front of home in Killeen, Texas neighborhood, unsolved homicide)

September 2018
9/2: Lewis Davies, 20, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/11: Richard Ramirez, 36, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/15: Jason Decker, 23, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/17: Jose Lamas, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/17: Michael Vanlandingham, 30, U.S. Army veteran (shot & killed in Copperas Cove, Dana Francis Walcott, Jr & Owen Thomas Free III guilty of capital murder, drug related)
9/23: Albert Christian, U.S. Army (exact date of death unknown, unknown cause of death, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
9/25: Justin Justice, 36, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

October 2018
10/13: Abhiraj Singh, 22, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)
10/14: Jose Ayabarreno, 43, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away in San Antonio, Texas)

November 2018
11/8: Jacob Casebolt, 21, U.S. Army (died in tactical vehicle rollover accident at Fort Hood)
11/20: Craig Noble, 51, U.S. Navy veteran (civilian found dead in vicinity of BLORA, Fort Hood)

December 2018
12/14: Terrell Coleman, 25, U.S. Army (passed away at medical center in Temple, Texas)
12/26: Kameryn Lopez, 21, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to the family)

January 2019
1/12: Cody Wilshusen, 25, U.S. Army (died in a fatal auto accident in New Mexico)
1/13: Andrew Ortega, 32, U.S. Army (died in training accident at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany)
1/14: Octavious Lakes, Jr, 22, U.S. Army (died in a tactical vehicle accident at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California)
1/22: Kelton Sphaler, 25, U.S. Army (died in an apparent boating accident at BLORA)

February 2019
2/5: Scott Weinhold, 25, U.S. Army veteran (died in an apparent boating accident at BLORA)
2/6: Caden Shunk, 21, U.S. Army (died in motorcycle crash trying to elude Killeen PD)
2/15: Cassandra Perez, 19, U.S. Army (struck & killed while standing outside her stalled vehicle in Edinburg, Texas, alleged drunk driver Edward Magallan officially charged w/ manslaughter)
2/23: James Hawley, U.S. Army (passed away according to Fort Hood Fallen, official date & cause of death unknown)

March 2019
3/12: Max Whitwell, 23, U.S. Army (found unresponsive & pronounced dead at Darnall Army Medical Center)
3/29: Erica Atkinson, 35, U.S. Army (found dead in parking lot on post, official cause of death unknown)
3/31: Nathan Ellard, 20, U.S. Army (both drivers died in a head-on vehicle crash in Hearne, Texas after Ellard crossed the center line)

April 2019
4/24: Tylor Hubert, 24, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to the family)

May 2019
5/1: Benjamin Hunt, 35, US Army (passed away, official location & cause of death unknown)
5/11: Tyler Groves, 21, U.S. Army (died in a single vehicle accident near Nolan Creek in Nolanville)
5/18: Ryan Brandon, 24, U.S. Army (died after motorcycle collided into the rear of a parked pickup truck in Harker Heights)

June 2019
6/25: James Johnston, 24, U.S. Army (died of wounds sustained from small arms fire while engaged in combat operations, Afghanistan)

July 2019
7/6: Edwin Brown Jr., 22, U.S. Army (died in a motorcycle accident, Killeen)
7/21: Virgil Robinson, 26, U.S. Army (drowned after falling from a float at Temple Lake Park on Lake Belton)
7/29: Colton Drye, 22, U.S. Air Force (car crash on highway near Walcott, Iowa)

August 2019
8/13: Corry Willis, 31, U.S. Army Veteran (according to obituary, fought a brave battle against PTSD, Killeen)
8/15: Andrew St. John, 29, Indiana Army National Guard (died in a military training accident at Fort Hood)
8/19: Gregory Wedel-Morales, 23, U.S. Army (anonymous tip led to the location of a body in a shallow grave in Killeen after CID offered $25,000 reward, unsolved homicide)

September 2019
9/5: Mason Webber, 22, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained conducting maintenance)
9/19: Jose Antonio Pabon Jr., 37, U.S. Army (passed away, Killeen, cause of death unknown)

October 2019
10/22: Rodney Hagan, 32, U.S. Army (suicide was likely the cause of death)

November 2019
11/4: Anthony Gowler, 31, U.S. Army (official cause of death is unknown)
11/6: Nicholas Panipinto, 20, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained in roll-over, Korea)
11/20: Logan Castello, 21, U.S. Army (died by suicide according to family)
11/20: Kirk Fuchigami Jr., 25, U.S. Army (died in a helicopter crash, Afghanistan)
11/20: David Knadle, 33, U.S. Army (died in a helicopter crash, Afghanistan)

February 2020
2/1: Eric Hogan, 19, U.S. Army (died after car accident, Highway 195 in Williamson County)
2/1: Anthony Peak Jr., 21, U.S. Army (died after car accident, Highway 195 in Williamson County)

March 2020
3/1: Shelby Tyler Jones, 20, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, Killeen, unsolved homicide)
3/5: Christopher Sawyer, 29, U.S. Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
3/5: Raul Torrez, 24, U.S. Army (passed away while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas)
3/11: Juan Covarrubias, 27, U.S. Army (died when engaged by enemy indirect fire, Iraq)
3/14: Shaquan Allred, 23, U.S. Army veteran (gunshot wounds, Killeen, unsolved homicide)
3/14: Freddy Delacruz Jr., 23, U.S. Army (gunshot wounds, Killeen, unsolved homicide)
3/20: Brandon Brown, 34, U.S. Army Veteran (Harker Heights PD ruled death as suicide by self inflicted gunshot wound, family seeks answers regarding death investigation)
3/23: Michael Wardrobe, 22, U.S. Army veteran (homicide, Spc. Jovino Roy charged)
3/25: Victor D’Onofrio, 22, U.S. Army (died at Fort Hood, cause of death unknown)
3/30: John David Randolph Hilty, 44, U.S. Army (died of a non-combat related incident, Iraq)

April 2020
4/22: Vanessa Guillen, 20, U.S. Army (homicide, murdered at work on post by co-worker, motive: she had knowledge that now deceased Aaron Robinson was having an affair with a married woman Cecily Aguilar, he killed her to silence her and protect his career)

May 2020
5/18: Brandon Rosecrans, 27, U.S. Army (gunshot wound, Harker Heights, unsolved homicide)

Source: Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

Military Murder Podcast Featured the Homicide of Fort Hood Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq; Friendly Fire or Military Cover-Up? (July 13, 2020)

Kamisha Block

Spc. Kamisha Block, U.S. Army

TWITTER: Shonta Block @ShontaBlock
FACEBOOK: Corruption without justice in the military
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Block family want congressional hearings
PETITION: Justice for Kamisha Block commanding officers are not above the law.
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine and Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

“In August 2007, [Fort Hood Army] Specialist Kamisha Block’s family was told that their 20-year-old daughter had died in Iraq as a result of friendly fire – one shot to the chest. The family was floored. They didn’t quite understand what that meant and they wanted answers. But Kamisha would give them a sign. When Kamisha’s mom, Jane, arrived at the funeral home to see her daughter one last time, she noticed a bullet sized hole on Kamisha’s head that had been covered with makeup. Her knees buckled as she thought – what have they done to my baby girl? And the answer she would get would never quench the Block’s family desire for real answers. Kamisha had been killed intentionally by another soldier – Staff Sergeant Paul Brandon Norris. Norris and Kamisha had been dating on and off for a few months and their relationship was against military regulations.” Listen to Episode 38 on the Military Murder Podcast website here.

UPDATE: Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called ‘friendly fire’ (Stars and Stripes, April 19, 2019) and Army closes investigation into allegations of a coverup in 2007 murder-suicide in Iraq (Stars and Stripes, June 19, 2020)

Kamisha Block Congress

If you would like to help the family get a congressional hearing and investigation, please call the ranking members of the HASC and SASC. #JusticeforKamishaBlock

Goals and Questions from Kamisha Block’s Family:

1. Hearings to discuss service wide responses to dangerous situations, negligence, and preventable deaths

2. There’s a break down in continuity of ‘no contact orders.’ For example, may be enforced in US but not in Iraq, may be enforced in civilian jurisdiction but not on base, etc.

3. Discussion of how a victim of crime copes when they report and are ignored or they don’t report for fear of their lives, loss of career, retaliation.

4. Brandon Norris was in Kamisha’s enlisted chain of command and was able to manipulate the situation to keep Kamisha under his control. When the Chain of Command learned about the forbidden relationship, one of them should have been moved to address the situation.

5. When the homicide-suicide occurred in Iraq, military members were told not to talk to Kamisha Block’s family. Out of fear, they remained silent until they watched an Investigation Discovery episode outlining what happened in Iraq. Most are veterans now and as a result of time and conscience, they now are willing to come forward and testify at hearings.

6. The service members who were in Iraq are now suffering with what we would refer to as moral injury. They knew the truth, they were shocked the Army told Kamisha Block’s family she died by friendly fire. They were fearful of coming forward while still serving in the US Army.

7. Brandon Norris was problematic before being deployed to Iraq. His behavior was erratic, he was drinking, he very likely could have had PTSD due to prior deployments, and he should not have been sent back to Iraq. When the command found out about the forbidden relationship, they issued a no contact order, which is virtually useless when both parties are on the same small base. They sent Brandon Norris to Iraq knowing there was a no contact order. There were a number of red flags in Brandon’s history to warrant getting him evaluated and medically retiring him. Although PTSD isn’t an excuse for violence, the mental health breakdown that comes with that diagnosis will send someone into a downward spiral if not addressed. These are co-occuring issues. Prior problems with domestic violence and PTSD are a deadly combination if no intervention.

8. When they sent Brandon Norris back to Iraq, it made Kamisha even more fearful because she could not escape him, there was nowhere to turn and she was isolated. The expedited transfer policy needs to be expanded to include all victims of crime and those who are fearful of their lives and trapped in dangerous situations. Did Brandon manipulate fellow leaders to see things his way? Why didn’t they protect Kamisha from Brandon’s escalating violence?

9. Why was the no contact order ignored, why was Brandon not removed from Kamisha’s Chain of Command, why was Brandon sent to Iraq with Kamisha, why did the Army tell Kamisha’s family she died by friendly fire, why was the Chain of Command not held responsible for negligence, why did Kamisha feel like she had nowhere to turn, why were service members told to remain silent, why did it take this long to get Kamisha’s case reopened? Why was Kamisha Block’s case closed before any of the questions were answered? Why was it closed because there was “no evidence” to support one allegation?

10. Why was Kamisha’s computer wiped clean before it was returned to the family? Why was it returned to the family if it was considered evidence? Why would anyone wipe the computer clean when it was full of potential evidence that would help us understand the victimology of Kamisha and what was going on in her life at the time? Service members informed family they were asked to destroy all paperwork and personnel records before Army CID arrived to investigate. Why would anyone destroy evidence needed to evaluate and investigate a homicide-suicide? How can we prevent the Chain of Command from destroying evidence in the future?

11. The morning of the homicide-suicide, it is alleged that Brandon Norris was experiencing a mental health breakdown. Why was his gun not taken from him immediately if there were already concerns about his behavior, actions, and deteriorating mental health state. This is another example of how this tragedy could have been prevented had the Army intervened and sent him home. Again, he should have never been sent to Iraq on a deployment with Kamisha. The no contact order is impossible to enforce if both are in the same unit on the same base in Iraq. Kamisha clearly expressed fear of Brandon and wanted the no contact order enforced, they ignored it. Why? Did they need warm bodies in Iraq? Did Norris manipulate them? Did the chain of command not care about Kamisha’s safety?

12. Why was Brandon sent to Iraq instead of discharged? Why was he not held responsible for an illegal relationship with a subordinate? Why was his mental health and problematic behavior ignored? Why would the chain of command issue a no contact order that can’t be enforced when two service members are serving together in the same unit on the same base whether in the US or overseas? Had any of these things been addressed and investigated, it could have saved Kamisha’s life.

13. Was Brandon Norris taking any medication for his mental health issues? If so, what were the prescriptions and what are the side effects. It is alleged that Brandon was taking ambien to help with sleep in a war zone. If this is the case, what is the responsibility of the mental health professionals or other military doctors who prescribed this medication to him? What is the responsibility of the chain of command if they have knowledge of medications? Do the health professionals and chain of command discuss whether it is healthy for a service member to deploy while on said medications? Did the medications or the side effects of the medications contribute to a downward spiral? Did he abruptly stop taking the medications at any point? Why was his health and medication management not considered before he was sent to Iraq? This puts everyone in danger if the person is not taking medications as prescribed and/or not well.

14. Discussion of Feres Doctrine. This archaic, unconstitutional Supreme Court decision is preventing us from holding key players accountable. Lawsuits are a form of checks and balances in the system. How do we hold the military accountable if we can’t utilize one of the three forms of government to force positive change for all service members in the future? Wrongful death lawsuits help us find the answers we may not get in an investigation or if something was not investigated. Lawsuits are used to force change and prevent the same tragedies from happening over and over. This is not happening in the military as evidenced by years of failed reforms. Preventable deaths are a common occurrence and until we can hold them accountable, nothing is going to change. How do we begin the process of getting the Feres Doctrine overturned? If congressional members do not do their jobs and help family members learn the truth, where do we turn? How do we get a case reopened without re-traumatizing ourselves over and over. It took years for Kamisha’s family to get her homicide case reopened and one year before the Army closed it again. The family wants the chain of command held criminally responsible for what they know was a preventable death. What do families do if Congress doesn’t help them? What do families do if the media won’t help tell their story? What do families do when they want an independent investigation because they question the outcome of the Chain of Command and CID’s investigation?

15. Does the Chain of Command involved in the wrongful death of a soldier deserve to continue serving in the military? Why are they not held responsible for manslaughter or negligence? If their actions or inaction lead to the death of someone under their command, shouldn’t they be held responsible for that death as well? Shouldn’t they be held responsible for not taking care of Brandon or Kamisha when they had the chance? Why was Brandon’s escalating violence and problematic behavior ignored at Kamisha’s expense? How do we hold them accountable when they destroy evidence? How do we prevent them from destroying evidence and wiping computers and phones clean before giving them back to the family?

16. There are a number of female soldiers who have died under suspicious circumstances while deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas locations. There were a cluster of deaths around the time Kamisha died as well. If you study each female service member’s story, it fits a pattern, a pattern recognized in Kamisha’s case as well. It reveals the continued repeated pattern of placing people in dangerous situations with potentially dangerous service members. We need an evaluation of all the non combat deaths overseas to find out what the root causes are in an effort to prevent these suspicious deaths and/or suicides from happening in the first place. Did the service member ask for help, report a crime, etc. before they died. We need to know how and why they died to help us create deployment policy that can be enforced in an effort to prevent a wrongful death. They need the expedited transfer policy expanded to capture all the dangerous situations not related to a sexual assault or rape. This can be used to save the service members life if they chain of command ignores them. The danger increases exponentially in a war-time environment one cannot escape.

17. Lastly what about the impact this has on the loved ones left behind? First off, the families should be compensated for the pain and suffering the military causes them when they question the cause of death ruling or they question what happened to their loved one who died under suspicious circumstances. We must address how the military treats families in these situations. Most don’t even know where to start. They don’t know how the military works. They don’t know the Commander is the central investigator and CID does what is asked of them. They don’t know how to FOIA records. They can’t make sense of records they do obtain because most of it is redacted or blacked out. No family should have to FOIA any records related to their loved ones death. This should be an automatic for them. The system is set up to make the family feel hopeless and give up, and that’s exactly what most do because the current system re-traumatizes them when they learn that no one will take responsibility for what happened under their watch or help them find the answers they deserve to have. They should not be expected to simply accept the military’s outcomes. In the civilian world, they have more access to the case and those involved and it is a proven fact a second set of eyes on a case can be the deciding factor in learning the truth. Military families don’t have this option. They should be assigned a victim advocate and or a special victims counsel like those provided to victims of sexual assault and rape. They should be treated with kindness, not ignored, transferred from person to person, and intimidated. The current system is reinforcing the trauma originally experienced from losing their loved one to a preventable death. This is unacceptable and causes irreversible harm. The truth is all that is wanted and it shouldn’t come at the expense of the family member’s health and wellness.

18. Lastly, what is the role of the FBI? Why is it that they can investigate a case in Nigeria involving folks pretending to be soldiers to scam people of money but they can’t investigate any of the suspicious deaths of female soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. If you do the research and look at how many suspicious deaths of service members occurred overseas, you will see the pattern. Every family who loses a loved one to a non combat death overseas deserves answers and a full investigation of the circumstances if they believe they were murdered or pushed to suicide because they had no way out. We lost a lot of female soldiers to non combat death overseas but we also lost a lot of male service members too. Would the expansion of the expedited transfer policy save their life? Or are they still trapped because current policy dictates their commander make that decision. Why can’t we have a bug out plan for the service members who were ignored like Kamisha? Why can’t we provide them with a plan that safely helps them extricate themselves from a dangerous situation if the chain of command chooses to do nothing because they don’t care or don’t understand how violence escalates?

Questions from Retired U.S. Federal Special Agent:

1. Was SSG NORRIS still legally married to his “third” and last wife at the time the relationship between him and SPC BLOCK initiated at Ft. Hood, Texas…or…elsewhere?

2. If SSG NORRIS was still legally married at the time he and SPC BLOCK became sexually involved, the military offense of ADULTERY, as well as other possible military offenses, was applicable…and…that military crime must not have been permitted to occur without subsequent “mutually applicable” ADULTERY military legal action against both SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK!

3. At the time of his suicide, was SSG NORRIS divorced or still married to his last wife?

4. According to the U.S. Army, upon his death, who was officially designated as SSG NORRIS’ “immediate legal surviving relative”

5. Was there any company level chain of command knowledge of the SSG NORRIS-SPC BLOCK relationship at Ft. Hood, Texas, prior to their respective departures from that unit to the Basic NCO Course (BNOC) (SSG NORRIS) and Iraq (SPC BLOCK)?

6. Must ID and interview their family, close friends and company level chain of command back at Ft. Hood prior to the SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK respective departures, to attempt to determine any possible degree of knowledge about their “pre-departure” existing relationship, which is already somewhat detailed by an unidentified soldier in one of the case’s enclosed CID Sworn Statements.

7. Must clarify, as far back as possible…due to their respective different military ranks…and…probable age difference, where exactly did their relationship commence…at Ft. Hood, Texas…or…elsewhere before that…for example, at the U.S. Army Military Police School (USAMPS), Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri,…or…somewhere in-between…in order to determine for how long their Chains of Command permitted their, most likely UNLAWFUL or at least PROHIBITED, fraternization and personal romantic relationship to exist.

8. When did each of them, SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK, first arrive at their MP Company in Ft. Hood, Texas…and…from where?

9. Obtain copies all written U.S. Army Regulations and policies relative to FRATERNIZATION PROHIBITIONS and “SOCIAL DISTANCING” applicable to Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) (Rank of Corporal to Sergeant Major) and Enlisted Personnel (Rank of Private to SPC) applicable to both SSG NORRIS and
SPC BLOCK.

10. Obtain any and all possible evidence of where exactly did both SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK received official information concerning #9 above.

11. When American military personnel are discharged from any military duty, they are issued a DD Form 214, with extensive official individual military history pertaining to promotions, awards, tours of duty, type of discharge, etc. Need to determine what form is issued by the U.S. Armed Forces to the official legal survivors of dead military personnel, and obtain a copy of the ones issued to SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK to see what information they contain.

12. Obtain copies of their respective Death Certificates…what cause and/or manner of death is listed in each?

13. Who, from the U.S. Armed Forces, first officially notified BLOCK’s family of her death…when…where…how?

14. Exactly what was the BLOCK family initially told concerning the cause and/or manner of death of SPC BLOCK?

15. Was SPC BLOCK “posthumously” awarded a “Purple Heart” medal by the U.S. Army?

16. If SPC BLOCK was indeed awarded a “Purple Heart” medal, a copy of the corresponding “Citation” must be obtained, and its obviously FALSE content noted…as it is a medal officially authorized to be awarded ONLY for: “Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces…”

17. Did the official legal survivor of SSG NORRIS receive any government “Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) payment in connection with any claim for his death by suicide?

18. The Chain of Command should have, upon receipt of the initial complaint against SSG NORRIS, made rapid administrative/personnel arrangements for the separation and transfer of SPC BLOCK or SSG NORRIS completely out of the area, to another overseas assignment or back to a base other than Ft. Hood,
Texas, and into a different MP Company, back in the Continental United States (CONUS)…not merely to transfer SPC BLOCK from SSG NORRIS’ squad to another squad…IN THE SAME PLATOON!

*THE FAILURE TO REMOVE SPC BLOCK AND SSG NORRIS FROM EACH OTHER IS THE MOST SERIOUS CHAIN OF COMMAND NEGLIGENT FAILURE WHICH LED TO THE MURDER OF SPC BLOCK! IF NOT FOR “A” THEREFORE NOT “B!”

19. There was also two(2) appearances or perceptions of possible CONFLICT OF INTEREST at the military law enforcement and criminal investigation level which took place at this crime scene:

a. “Off Duty” Military Police personnel, from SSG NORRIS’ and SPC BLOCK’s MP unit and MP platoon became overly involved at the crime scene, acting as if they were the first responding “On-Duty” MPs, which as far as I can tell they were NOT! At this time, I do NOT recall having read anything, in the E-mailed documents I have thus far received, which details anything about when or which “On-Duty” MPs or CID Agents arrived and took over complete and total control of the chaotic crime scene.

*FOR CLARIFICATION PURPOSES: Unless something has changed of which I am not aware, in the U.S. Army, Military Police personnel exist and perform under a “double supervision” system. They have an “OFF-DUTY” unit of assignment…as in their MP company…under the supervision of that company’s Chain of Command. And, as the need arises, they are basically provided to the “Provost Marshal” (Military Chief of Police) to be under his/her OPERATIONAL or “ON-DUTY” control.

b. In one of the Sworn Statements, it is revealed that one of the CID Special Agents at the crime scene was a former Military Police NCO at the same MP Company and possibly assigned to the same platoon as SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK, back in Ft. Hood, Texas. In that Sworn Statement, that MP witness also stated he had conversed with that CID Agent while in the vicinity of the SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK murder/suicide crime scene…and…that the agent had been one of his MP platoon leaders back at Ft. Hood, Texas…and…he had made a prior courtesy visit to that CID agent at the Camp Liberty CID Office, upon hearing that said NCO was now working there as a CID Agent. Obviously, based on this information, the CID Agent in question applied for the U.S. Army CID Program while he was assigned to that same MP Company back in Ft. Hood, Texas, before the unit was deployed to Iraq. That “SFC” ranked CID Special Agent should have informed his CID supervisor(s) he was formerly an NCO member of the MP Company where the SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK murder/suicide crime scene was located…and…should have been recused from any involvement in the case, ESPECIALLY IF HE PREVIOUSLY PERSONALLY KNEW OR SUPERVISED EITHER OR BOTH SSG NORRIS and SPC BLOCK FROM HIS ASSIGNMENT AT THE MP COMPANY BACK AT FT. HOOD!

20. Are MEDICS now organically attached to or assigned to MP units? I sensed some of the individuals involved at the crime scene, subsequent to the murder/suicide, were MP-connected MEDICS.

21. A Staff Sergeant counseling another Staff Sergeant about fraternization or anything else? That is strange to me…and…indicative of Chain of Command NEGLIGENCE in delegating this important preventive measure to an NCO of the same rank as the individual receiving the counseling! In my opinion, any and all counseling involving SSG NORRIS should have been done by a higher ranking NCO or a Commissioned Officer, not by his Platoon Sergeant OF EQUAL RANK. I feel such counseling should have been done by either the First Sergeant, Platoon Leader, Executive Officer or Company Commander.

22. Maybe, just maybe, I am just TOO OLD ARMY, but off-post squad parties at a squad leader’s off-post private home…and…drinking beers and going to off-post clubs with my squad leader?! Unheard of for me in my Army days…never happened! In my time there was strict “social separation” between Enlisted Soldiers, Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Commissioned Officers! Each rank category had their own SEPARATE on-post clubs…ENLISTED CLUB…NCO CLUB…and…OFFICERS CLUB. I’ve got a feeling that, at least in this particular MP company, there was a bit of too much socializing among the Enlisted soldiers and the NCOs…and this, as it does with Commissioned Officers also, is a pure social seed planting environment which blooms into prohibited FRATERNIZATION situations.

23. I suspect that SSG NORRIS came to a realization that he could get away with his fraternizing relationship with SPC BLOCK because he had gotten away with for so long, everyone was looking the other way and in denial…and…no one was really challenging him to not continue fraternizing with her!

24. My gut also tells me that SSG NORRIS’ anger streak was common knowledge around his MP Company, and most of his immediate supervisors and some in the Chain of Command, preferred NOT to confront him and hold him accountable for anything. THEY ROUTINELY GAVE HIM A PASS! And most soldiers were simply afraid and/or reluctant to report and complain about him.

25. I am in total agreement with all critique and comments previously provided about the CID Crime Lab apparent shortcomings.

*Most importantly…WHAT EXACTLY WAS IN THE CELL PHONES AND LAPTOPS! Must demand the transcripts and photos from each of those devices. What was the final legal disposition of those EVIDENCE ITEMS?!

YouTube Videos:

Spc. Kamisha Block, U.S. Army in Iraq (2007) 

Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq -12 News Now (February 12, 2019)

Families from across the U.S. held a rally outside Fort Hood demanding answers about the deaths of their loved ones who died while serving. -KCEN News (July 11, 2020)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | Military Murder Podcast
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Player FM)
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Stitcher)
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Apple)
Ep. 38: Military Cover-up? The Murder of Kamisha Block | MM Podcast (Podchaser)
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (2007)
Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spc. Kamisha Block Died in Murder-Suicide in Iraq (March 13, 2018)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)
Murderific True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (December 8, 2019)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Spc. Kamisha Block, U.S. Army in Iraq (YouTube)
Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq
Dozens gather to protest for answers outside Fort Hood

Family Wants Military to Help Marine Corporal Thae Ohu Cope with a Sex Assault, Instead She’s in the Navy Consolidated Brig in Virginia (July 13, 2020)

Thae Ohu USMC

Cpl. Thae Ohu, U.S. Marine Corps

Family wants military to help a Marine cope with a sex assault. Instead, she’s in a Chesapeake brig. (The Virginian-Pilot, July 13, 2020)

“In a letter to a U.S. senator in Arizona, [Thae] Ohu — a 26-year-old administrative specialist with the Marine Corps Intelligence Schools aboard Dam Neck Naval Base — said she’d been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon following a psychological break in April. In a separate letter, her boyfriend said he was the victim of the incident and that he believed the case should be dropped.”

“Ohu was seeking medical retirement earlier this year to get help for PTSD, but the Marines were seeking administrative separation, according to a memo from her defense attorney. That would cause her to lose medical benefits, the lawyer said.”

Petition: Sexual Assault, Retaliation, Injustice – http://chng.it/TDSqBJf7Pz

White House Petition: Release Marine Corporal & Military Sexual Assault Survivor Thae Ohu from Brig; Give Her Treatment & Justice She Deserves – https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/release-marine-corporal-military-sexual-assault-survivor-thae-ohu-brig-give-her-treatment-justice-she-deserves

Facebook: Justice for Thae Ohu – http://www.facebook.com/justiceforthae

IG: @justiceforthaeohu

GoFundMe: Help Thae Ohu – https://www.gofundme.com/f/bpky2-help-thae-ohu

American Grit: “Thae is a proud Marine and courageous survivor of military sexual assault. For five years she has struggled with being a victim of sexual assault. Our family is devastated that the Marine Corps has chosen to place Thae in a military prison instead of giving her the medical treatment she so desperately needs. We are asking the Marine Corps simply to do the right thing: to immediately release Thae from jail, stop the unjust prosecution against her, and provide her with adequate mental health services. What she needs, and deserves, is treatment and support from a loving community of family and friends. We hope that the Marine Corps will honor its promise to protect victims of military sexual assault, like Thae, by standing by her when it matters the most. Questions related to the case should be directed to Thae’s civilian attorney, Mr. Gerald Healy, at gerry@mja.law.”

Thae Ohu Congress

Related Links:
Family wants military to help a Marine cope with a sex assault. Instead, she’s in a Chesapeake brig.
Family Wants Military to Help a Marine Cope with a Sex Assault; Instead, She’s in a Brig
This Marine’s family wanted the Corps to help her cope with a sexual assault. Instead, she’s in the brig
Thae Ohu and the mystery surrounding her incarceration
Marine Raped and Then Sent to Brig for Mental Breakdown
Thae Ohu: update from her family

MJFA on Social:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/militaryjusticeforall
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/military_crime
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@military_crime
Email: militaryjusticeforall@gmail.com

Open Letter to House of Representatives in Support of an Independent Investigation of the Murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood (July 7, 2020)

Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present): https://wp.me/p3XTUi-5oF

Dear Rep. Jared Golden,

I write to you as a victim of crime in the military and as a military crime historian. I have researched the US military’s crime problems for the last 10 years and have documented as much as humanly possible on my Military Justice for All website. I have over 1000 cases of suspicious deaths, homicide and missing cases. Fort Hood has been problematic for years. I visited both Senator Collins and Senator King in DC to warn them about the problems at Fort Hood in December 2017 and to ask them for their help. It fell on deaf ears. Much like Vanessa Guillen, I too was afraid to report sexual harassment and sexual assault for fear of retaliation. I didn’t report until my supervisor in the Chain of Command attempted to force himself on me. Prior to this incident, I experienced daily sexual harassment and he would give me assignments that isolated me so he could do it with no witnesses.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia is asking that the DoD IG do an investigation of the circumstances that led up to the murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood. I am asking you to support her and all of our service members by adding your name to the list of representatives who support these efforts. Fort Hood leadership has failed time and time again and it’s due time that someone take a look at this problematic base. It’s a sad day when we lose 133 servicemembers stateside to violent crime, suicide, and training accidents compared to 2 combat deaths and 4 insider attacks overseas since 2016.

I also ask that you support legislation such as the Military Justice Improvement Act to give our service members a chance to report unsafe situations to an independent authority outside the Chain of Command. As long as service members are fearful of retaliation (which is very real and the reason I have compounded PTSD), we will continue to see high rates of PTSD, murder and suicide on military bases. According to authorities, Vanessa Guillen was murdered because she was planning on reporting someone she worked with for adultery, and this same individual may also have been sexually harassing her. It is unclear at this time who sexually harassed her but she told her family she was scared and feared reporting the sexual harassment to the Chain of Command because it wasn’t taken seriously and she feared retaliation.

Over the years, I have realized that most don’t realize what it’s like to be enlisted and this still rings true. Imagine how powerless we feel as lower enlisted when someone higher ranking than us can literally get away with crime because they are part of the reporting mechanism or they simply don’t care. While Congress sits on their hands, veterans are flocking to the VA to file PTSD claims and military families are grieving the loss of their loved ones whether it be by murder or suicide. I understand why someone might take their own life when they feel trapped and have no way out.

Please do the right thing and support Rep. Garcia, Rep. Speier and Senator Gillibrand.

Sincerely,

Air Force Veteran

Rep Sylvia Garcia

Find your Representative here.

The Murder Squad Podcast: The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood (July 6, 2020)

The Murder Squad.jpg

The Murder Squad Podcast

“In this episode, Billy and Paul will delve into the eight cases of unsolved homicides and unknown causes of death of soldiers from the base. And with the help of Murder Squad listeners, they take a closer look at how the US Army investigates sexual assault, sexual harassment and missing persons amidst their ranks—including the cases of Vanessa Guillen and LaVena Johnson.”

Listen to Episode 57: The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood from The Murder Squad Podcast here.

Petitions:
Reopen the investigation of LaVena Johnson’s death
HOLD THE US ARMY ACCOUNTABLE: Justice for Vanessa Guillen

Related Links:
The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Seven Unsolved Homicide Cases Affiliated with Fort Hood (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Investigation Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
Federal Criminal Complaint for Cecily Ann Aguilar, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (July 2, 2020)

Chair Jackie Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization (July 2, 2020)

Rep Speier NDAA.jpg

“Nearly two dozen major provisions offered by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, were adopted during consideration of the annual defense policy bill by the Armed Services Committee this week.”

  • Authorize a System of Military Court Protective Orders: Allowing military judges and magistrates to issue court protective orders compliant with the Violence Against Women Act. The new judicial orders provide better protection and enforceability for servicemembers and family members experiencing intimate partner violence.
  • Initiate a Sexual Assault Prosecution Pilot Program at the Military Service Academies: A 4-year test of a new Chief Prosecutor would demonstrate whether assigning charging decisions for sexual assault and other special victims’ crimes to an independent expert outside of the chain of command would increase the willingness of survivors to report and the ability of the military justice system to hold perpetrators accountable.
  • Establish a Special Inspector General for Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Armed Forces: A dedicated office to investigate underrepresentation of people of color among military officers and high-ranking enlisted servicemembers, racial disparities within the military justice system, and white supremacy among servicemembers.
  • Increase Representation of Women and People of Color in the Armed Services: The military would be required to establish specific goals to increase recruiting, accessions, and promotion of minorities and women, and to report to Congress on a plan to achieve these goals and their progress.
  • Address Bias by Anonymizing Candidates Before Military Promotion Boards: Redact all personally identifiable information, such as names and photographs, of servicemembers before promotion boards to remove the potential for conscious or unconscious bias.
  • Make Violent Extremism a Military Crime: A new article within the Uniform Code of Military Justice would bring greater consequences to servicemembers who perpetrate, plan, threaten, or conspire to commit violent acts with intent to intimidate or coerce a person or class of people, or the intent to impact government action or policy.
  • Track White Supremacy among Servicemembers: The military services would be required to improve tracking of white-supremacist and other extremist activity by servicemembers.
  • Establish a Military-Civilian Task Force on Domestic Violence: The task force would report to Congress with findings and recommendations to address intimate partner violence among servicemembers and military families, and DoD would be required to collect data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence.
  • Establish a Military-wide Safe-to-Report Policy: Clarify that servicemembers may report sexual assault without fear of being disciplined for related minor collateral misconduct such as drinking in the barracks.
  • Improve Coordination for Survivors of Sexual Trauma: Ensure a warm handoff for survivors when relocating between stations within the military or when separating from the military and transferring from service providers within DoD to resources within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Improve Oversight of Military Sexual Assault Investigations: Require DoD to report to Congress all military sexual assault investigations that remain open more than 6 months along with the reasons for the delay.
  • Improve Oversight of Next Generation Body Armor: Require DoD to report on barriers to fielding next generation body armor that will provide better, gender-specific protection for military servicemembers.
  • Expand Child Care Options for Military Families: Address waiting lists, establish competitive pay for providers in high-cost areas, provide housing priority for military spouses that operate Family Care Centers, and expand the Financial Assistance Program to pay for in-home child care, such as by a nanny or au pair. Additionally, it requires 24-hour child care be provided on bases where servicemembers are required to work night shifts.
  • Improve Oversight of the Next Generation Interceptor Missile Defense Program: Require an independent cost estimate and two successful flight tests before buying.
  • Transparency of Contractor Ownership: Expand reporting requirements to identify the beneficial owner of contractors.
  • Strengthen Whistleblower Protections: Clarify that nondisclosure agreements do not prevent employees of government contractors and subcontractors from filing a whistleblower complaint.
  • Examine Equal Employment Opportunity: Require the Department of Defense to report on ways to improve the EEO process for DoD civilians.
  • Enact the Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act: Strengthen EEO protections and increase accountability for federal employees who are found to be responsible for discrimination.
  • Authorize Incentive Pay for Programming Proficiency: Develop a system to track coding language aptitude and proficiency by military servicemembers and DoD civilians and offer financial incentives for needed programming skills.
  • Investigate Suicide at Remote Military Installations: Require a Comptroller General report covering unique challenges of preventing suicide by military servicemembers and military family members at remote bases outside of the contiguous United States.
  • Examine Access to Contraception and Family Planning Education. Require DoD to issue a report on barriers experienced by servicemembers in accessing contraception and the status of implementation of new DoD requirements on reproductive health care, such as ensuring access to contraception for the full length of deployment.

Read more here.

Related Links:
Chair Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)
Senators Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)

Senators Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)

Pass MJIA 2.png

Find contact information and how your Senators voted here.

Contact the SASC & HASC Members here.

Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

“U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and I recently announced that we will offer the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The Military Justice Improvement Act would professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes by moving the decision over whether to prosecute them to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors.

Despite years of Congressional reforms, thousands of service members are raped and sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their violent crimes. Last year, the Department of Defense announced a record number of sexual assaults reported by or against service members, and yet, less than 10 percent of cases considered for command action ever proceeded to trial. Worse yet, despite repeated efforts to stamp out the scourge of retaliation against military sexual assault survivors, the most recent Pentagon survey found that 64 percent of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. That figure is statistically unchanged from 2016.”

Read more here.

SASC: Senate Armed Services Committee
HASC: House Armed Services Committee

Related Links:
Chair Jackie Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization (July 2, 2020)
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (August 31, 2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (September 30, 2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Federal Criminal Complaint for Cecily Ann Aguilar, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (July 2, 2020)

Cecily Aguilar 1Cecily Aguilar 2Cecily Aguilar 3Cecily Aguilar 4Cecily Aguilar 5

Related Links:
Federal Criminal Complaint for Cecily Ann Aguilar, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (July 2, 2020)

Dear Vanessa Guillen… (June 30, 2020)

Vanessa Guillen

I will never forget you Vanessa Guillen. ❤️

Dear Vanessa,

My heart is heavy with the news we heard today and I still hold out hope that it’s not real. I don’t want to give up the hope that you are still out there and we will find you, as a dedicated, motivated team. So many people care about you. And a lot of people stepped forward and said yes, it happened to me too. The silence was finally broken and now we know for a fact that the same military justice system that failed us failed you too. My heart is broken. The writing was on the wall at Fort Hood. Prior to your disappearance, a team of people fought for you and all the other service members praying none of you would go missing or die whether by your own hand or someone else’s, both failures of leadership. The retaliation is real and we’ve been concerned that if we don’t deal with hazing, bullying, sexual assault and domestic violence appropriately then other more violent behavior would follow and it has.

Ten years of research and the creation of a website dedicated to military crime backs Vanessa up and all the other brave veterans who spoke up and shared their stories of heartbreak and betrayal. Although your safety has been of the utmost priority, we witnessed a shift because of you and because of what’s been going on at Fort Hood. I am so thankful you said something to your mother so everyone would know that sexual harassment is at the beginning of the continuum of harm and if not stopped only escalates. It’s like watching your future attacker plot when to make his move and you know it’s coming but there’s no way to escape. And then it’s too late. I’m not sure how I am going to sleep tonight but please know you are in my thoughts and I pray we can continue searching for you tomorrow and that what we learned is not true.

I was disappointed with the media today and how this was handled. I was especially disappointed with the headlines that purposefully made assumptions. I pray that justice will be served, that Fort Hood cleans up its act, and that your experience changes the entire military justice system. If this had been treated like the missing persons case it was, I may not be so angry knowing this is business as usual for the military. They replace us just as quickly as we disappear. The callousness and lack of regard for our fellow human, including murder victims, is sickening and heart breaking. Vanessa, please know how much you mean to me and so many other thousands of people. You are making a huge impact. Sending so much love and comfort to your family at this time, and anyone else who is struggling with today’s news.

Much love,

A Vet with MST
#IAmVanessaGuillen
Share on Facebook

Rep. Seth Moulton Introduces The Brandon Act to Change DoD Mental Health Policy, Pay Tribute to Fallen Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta (June 25, 2020)

The Brandon Act Seth Moulton.png

Representative Seth Moulton Press Release

The bill named in Caserta’s honor would create “Brandon Act” reporting, making it easier for service members to seek mental health care anonymously

Brandon Caserta

PO3 Brandon Caserta, U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Teri and Patrick Caserta, parents of fallen United States Navy Petty Officer Third Class Brandon Caserta, announced the introduction of The Brandon Act.

The bill would allow service members to anonymously report and seek mental health treatment by using a safe word like “Brandon Act.” It is designed to protect service members who experience mental health emergencies that result from hazing, bullying, or any other issue. It would allow them to seek help anonymously and, if necessary, outside of the chain of command. The bill’s introduction comes on the second anniversary of Brandon Caserta’s death from suicide, which he said was prompted by bullying and hazing within his unit.

“Brandon had a smile that made everyone want to smile. He was a very charismatic and upbeat young man. He made everyone’s day better no matter what they were going through. Brandon has always helped everyone he could. The Brandon Act would do this for his fellow service members in his death,” Teri and Patrick Caserta said, “Brandon did not die in vain and his legacy for helping others will continue long after his death when The Brandon Act is passed.”

Rep. Seth Moulton said: “Brandon tragically lost his life because he wasn’t able to get support for his mental health—something we should provide every American, especially every American hero in uniform. This bill will ensure our service members can get help and have no fear of retaliation for doing so, as it’s the right thing to do. Although we’ll never get Brandon back, his legacy will be the lives of many more great Americans he saves through this bill, and I’m proud of his parents who have fought so hard to tell his story and make this change.”

Brandon Caserta died by suicide on June 25, 2018 on the flight line at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia. After his death, his parents and friends discovered six notes in which Brandon attributed his suicide to persistent hazing and bullying from some members and leaders of his Navy helicopter squadron.

The Brandon Act expands the existing law that regulates how service members are referred for mental health evaluations, in order to provide a confidential channel for service members to self-report mental health issues. The process would protect the anonymity of service members, similar to the restricted reporting option that protects victims of sexual assault.

Moulton made expanding mental health care and breaking the stigma around seeking help a top priority since disclosing last year that he is managing post traumatic stress from his service in Iraq as a United States Marine. In addition to The Brandon Act, Moulton has secured mandatory mental health check ups for service members who saw combat within 21 days of leaving the battlefield in the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act.

He also co-introduced, with fellow veteran Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which would make 9-8-8 the national number for mental health emergencies. The bill has passed in the Senate, and is one step away from a vote on the House floor. Yesterday, the FCC announced that it would issue a final rule on the designation of 9-8-8 as the national suicide prevention hotline in mid-July.

A copy of The Brandon Act is available for download here.

A legislative summary for The Brandon Act is available for download here.

Read more from the original source on Rep. Seth Moulton’s website here.

Related Links:
The Brandon Act (website)
The Brandon Act (Facebook)
Moulton Introduces Brandon Act to Change DoD Mental Health Policy, Pay Tribute to Fallen Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta (June 25, 2020)
Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta Died by Suicide at Naval Station Norfolk; Family Pushing for Suicide Prevention Legislation ‘The Brandon Act’ Focusing on Hazing & Bullying (June 25, 2018)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (October 21, 2016)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (Jan 1, 2016 to Present) 
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Military Justice for All (Facebook)