Army Sgt. Jonathon Hunter and Spc. Christopher Harris Died After a Vehicle-Borne IED Detonated Near Their Convoy in Afghanistan (2017)


Sgt. Jonathon Hunter, US Army, and Spc. Christopher Harris, US Army

Sgt. Jonathon Hunter, 23, and Spc. Christopher Harris, 25, died as a result of injuries sustained when a vehicle-borne improved explosive device (IED) detonated near their convoy on August 2, 2017 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Sgt. Hunter and Spc. Harris were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. According the the Department of Defense press release the incident is under investigation.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
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Specialist Christopher Harris: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
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Army Pfc. Hansen Kirkpatrick Died in an Indirect Fire Attack in Helmand Province, Afghanistan (2017)

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Pfc. Hansen Kirkpatrick, US Army

Army Pfc. Hansen Kirkpatrick, 19, died from wounds received during an indirect fire attack on July 3, 2017 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Pfc. Kirkpatrick was supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division in Fort Bliss, Texas. According to the Department of Defense press release, the incident is under investigation.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
US soldier killed in Afghanistan is identified
Pentagon identifies soldier killed in indirect fire attack in Afghanistan
Hansen Kirkpatrick: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Death of U.S. soldier in Afghanistan highlights the evolving role of conventional combat troops there

SSG Devin Schuette, US Army, Found Dead in Vehicle Near Recreation Area at Fort Hood, Texas (2016)


SSG Devin Schuette, US Army

SSG Devin Schuette, 35, U.S. Army, originally of Clovis, New Mexico, was found dead inside a car near the recreation area at Fort Hood on January 3, 2016. According to his family, he had been missing since New Year’s Day. SSG Schuette’s service with the Army began in April 1999 as an infantryman and he was serving as an Intelligence Analyst with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood at the time of his death. He also served three overseas tours as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom; his deployments were from March 2003 to March 2004, November 2005 to October 2006 and June 2008 to June 2009. As of January 6, 2016, the Criminal Investigation Division was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. At the time of reporting, they did not suspect any foul play but were not ruling anything out as they moved forward with the investigation.

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Obituary: SSG Devin L. Schuette
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The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
From My Heart to Yours (YouTube)

“One of the most difficult situations I have ever faced in my life. Please share this video with everyone and anyone you can.” -Devin Schuette

Army Pfc Jennifer Cole Died of a Non Combat Related Incident in Iraq, Cause of Death was Negligent Homicide (2008)

Honoring Pfc Jennifer Cole @USArmy (2008)

Pfc. Jennifer Cole, US Army

Pfc. Jennifer Cole, US Army, died of a non combat related incident in Bayji, Iraq on August 2, 2008. Pfc. Cole was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 426th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. An investigation revealed that Jennifer died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen. According to the family, she was accidentally shot by a fellow Army soldier while they were cleaning their weapons. They learned that the weapon had not been cleared prior to the cleaning and no one is sure how it got into the place where Jennifer was shot. The soldier (Thurston) responsible for the accidental shooting was charged with negligent homicide. He spent 30 days in military jail and was given a general discharge from the Army. Jennifer’s mom, Candy Gholson, shared with Napa Valley, California newspapers that the Army wouldn’t give her information, provide her with paperwork, or tell her exactly what happened to her daughter.

Candy Gholson shared that she heard three different versions and wanted to know exactly what happened. She also shared that she learned from Jennifer’s roommate in the Army that no one ever questioned her and they both thought that odd considering most investigations start with those closest to the victim. Both Jennifer’s parents shared the frustration that it is not easy getting answers from a military organization or is it easy dealing with the bureaucracy of the Army and their typical federal government run-around. The parents were told to go through the Freedom of Information Act for the investigation report but the Army warned them it could take up to a year to get the trial transcript they were requesting. Jennifer’s step father, a US Marine Corps veteran, reiterated that he too wanted to know the details of what happened and that he didn’t have hard feelings towards the soldier who killed his step-daughter. But he does feel that Thurston’s superiors should have been court-martialed for ineffective supervision and oversight of the weapons.

“I understand they had a trial for the guy (Thurston) who shot my daughter. I was told he spent 30 days in a military jail and was discharged from the Army. He didn’t get a dishonorable discharge, but the one just above that. But I have never received any paperwork to that effect,” Gholson said. “I just want answers. And it’s not easy trying to get them from a military government institution. “I’ve heard three different stories from the Army about what happened the day Jennifer died,” Gholson said. “I want to know what exactly happened that day. There were witnesses. Why can’t the Army get the story straight?” ~Napa Valley Register

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
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Pfc. Jennifer L. Cole, The Fort Campbell Courier
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August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
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Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

Pfc. Tina Priest, US Army, Died From a Non-Combat Related Incident in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Suspects Rape and Murder (2006)

Tina Priest

Tina Priest, US Army

Pfc. Tina Priest, 20, US Army, died from a non-combat related injury in Taji, Iraq on March 1st, 2006. She was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Divison at Fort Hood, Texas. The Army ruled the death an apparent suicide but Tina’s parents dispute that finding based on the evidence and believe that she was raped and murdered. Tina reported a rape two weeks prior to her death. This case is no longer under investigation but considered a cold case because of the families concerns with the cause of death ruling by the Army.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
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Did Army do enough to prevent soldier’s death? (2007)
Family disputes Army’s suicide finding in daughter’s death
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’
Pfc. Tina Priest’s rape and the Irony of the Iraq War
“Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within”
U.S. Military Covering Up Possible Murders of Female Service Members
Sisters in Death: The Systemic Misogyny of Militarism Leads To Deaths of U.S. Servicewomen and Iraqi Civilian Women
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A Shot Away: Personal Accounts of Military Sexual Trauma
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Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Stop Killing Us!!! (YouTube)
The Silent Truth (Documentary)

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth