Army Vet Christian Martin Accused of 2015 Pembroke, Kentucky Homicides; No Motive or Physical Evidence Produced by Authorities on Day of Arrest; Says He’s Innocent (May 11, 2019)

The latest: Major Martin became a “person of interest” to law enforcement officials in the Fort Campbell area after several bodies were discovered Nov. 19 at two different locations not far from his Pembroke, Ky., home. One of the bodies was that of Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, a man who lived across the street from the major and was set to testify during the aforementioned military trial. Following an emergency hearing Nov. 24, a military judge ordered the trial, set to begin Dec. 1, delayed indefinitely. -Bob McCarty (Nov. 30, 2015)

Christian Martin interview

Screenshot of Christian Martin’s interview with News 4 Tennessee about the Pembroke murders (April 28, 2016). Click here for raw video.

Facts:

  • Nov. 18, 2015: Calvin Phillips was found fatally shot in his home & the bodies of his wife Pamela Phillips & neighbor, Edward Dansereau, were found in Pam Phillips’ burned out car on Rosetown Road in Pembroke, Kentucky
  • April 28, 2016: Christian Martin interviewed with the local media about the Pembroke murders. He denied any involvement and was confident that he would not be accused of the crimes. He wanted to set the record straight.
  • May 13, 2016: Christian Martin was found guilty of two counts of mishandling of classified material & two counts of assault of a child; Martin was found not guilty on two charges of rape of a child & communicating a threat; Sentenced to three months in jail & discharged from the Army
  • July 11, 2018: Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear faces scrutiny for past campaign contributions; Beshear’s top deputy was accused of taking kick-backs and bribes for political donations; Republicans accused team Beshear of being corrupt; although it had been two years at the time of print, the money still had not been spent but Beshear vowed to donate any tainted contributions to Common Cause, a government watchdog group
  • May 10, 2019: Martin was indicted on three counts of murder; one count of arson; one count of attempted arson, burglary in the 1st degree & three counts of tampering with physical evidence; Authorities have not given a motive or said what led them to believe Martin was responsible
  • May 21, 2019: Attorney General Andy Beshear wins the Democratic primary for Kentucky governor
  • May 22, 2019: At arraignment, Christian Martin pleads not guilty; the State of Kentucky AG is holding him in jail with no bond and threatening the death penalty

“The Christian County Sherriff’s Department tells FOX 17 that both Major Martin and [Joan] Harmon are persons of interest in the triple murder that happened in Pembroke back in November. The department says it has interviewed Harmon twice about the murders and what she knows. However, the department refuses to say she’s a suspect.” –Fox 17 Nashville (May 11, 2016)

In the News (2019):

  1. Christian Martin interview with Channel 4 I-Team about Pembroke murders (April 28, 2016) [VIDEO]
  2. Beshear faces scrutiny for past campaign contributions (July 11, 2018)
  3. NCFM Member ‘Kit Martin’ Indicted for Murder in Kentucky
  4. Pilot With NC Ties Indicted In 2015 Triple Murder
  5. Past defense attorney for Army Major indicted in triple murder says he’s innocent
  6. Former Army Major indicted in triple murder, past attorney says he’s innocent
  7. Neighbors relieved after suspect arrested in 2015 Christian County murders
  8. Arraignment Set For Pilot Charged In 3 Killings In Christian County
  9. Arraignment set for pilot charged in 3 killings in Kentucky
  10. Fiancee of commercial pilot charged in Kentucky triple homicide says he’s ‘100 percent innocent’
  11. Dad died over evidence he gave Army, victim’s son says after pilot’s arrest in triple homicide
  12. Pilot accused of triple murder claimed in interview one victim had affair with his ‘bigamist’ ex-wife
  13. Pilot arrested at Louisville airport pleads not guilty in triple murder case
  14. Christian Martin, pilot arrested in triple murder, pleads not guilty
  15. Pilot accused in 2015 triple homicide could face death penalty
  16. Update: Man Indicted For 2015 Christian Co. Triple Murder Could Face Death, Held Without Bond
  17. Andy Beshear wins the Democratic primary for Kentucky governor
  18. Andy Beshear Wins Democratic Primary for Kentucky Governor

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. Arrests and charges are accusations by legal authorities until a suspect is convicted of the crime.

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Timeline of Events

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2015:
NCFM sends letter to Secretary of Defense about the wrongful persecution of Major Christian “Kit” Martin
Army Major Questioned in Pembroke Murders
Nashville’s Fox 17 Omits Key Details From News Reports About Army Officer Caught Up In Murder Investigation
Man found dead inside Ky. home was witness in court-martial case
Man found dead was to be witness in court-martial case
Home, Cars of Fort Campbell Army Major Searched in Connection to Ky. Murders
Major Martin 9-2-15 Interview with Updates (November 30, 2015)
Attorney Cites ‘Foul Smell in the Air’ Surrounding Effort to Link Army Officer to Multiple Murders Near Fort Campbell
Computer custody questioned in sex assault hearing
Law-and-Order Veterans ‘Smell A Rat’ at Fort Campbell
Officials Identify Gunshot Victim Found Inside Home While Facebook Comments About Case Appear and Disappear
NCFM asks DoD Inspector General for Referral to U.S. Attorney General for Criminal Probe of JAG Prosecutors in the Case of U.S. Army Major Christian “Kit” Martin, then there’s the triple murder…
NCFM used in triple murder case article linked to the Army’s persecution of Major Martin

2016:
Kit Martin interview with Channel 4 I-Team about Pembroke murders
Recording of victim 2 weeks before murders reveals connections to person of interest
Witnesses say Army major physically, sexually abused them
Minors take stand in court-martial of Army major to accuse of sex abuse
Family of Fort Campbell Army Major says he’s Innocent in Triple Murder Case
Army major found not guilty of sexual assault charges
Major Christian “Kit” Martin is acquitted of child sex abuse
NCFM update, Major Christian “Kit” Martin Dodges a Bullet in Courts-Martial at Fort Campbell – Is Acquitted of Child Sex Abuse Charges
Ft. Campbell Army Major Found Guilty of Assault on a Child
Court-martialed Army major found guilty, sentenced
NCFM update in the False Accusation and Wrongful Conviction Case of Army Major “Kit” Martin
U.S. Army Major Christian “Kit” Martin: The Wrongful Conviction of an American Hero
Triple Murder, False Rape Allegations and the corruption of both a police department and the U.S. Army
False Accusation and Wrongful Conviction Case of Army Major “Kit” Martin
Police still seeking info in Pembroke triple-murder
Police still seeking info in Pembroke triple-murder

2017:
Family offers $100K reward for information on Pembroke triple murder
$100K reward offered in deaths of Ky. couple found in burned car
$100,000 Reward In Triple Homicide

2018:
Three Year Anniversary Of Unsolved Pembroke Triple Murders

Christian Richard Martin is facing several charges, in Christian County, Ky., including murder and arson. Martin moved from Kentucky to North Carolina after the murders, the Attorney General’s Office said. -WFMY News 2 (May 11, 2019)

2019 (Arrest):
NCFM Member ‘Kit Martin’ Indicted for Murder in Kentucky
Beshear: Man Indicted for 2015 Christian County Triple Murder
Kentucky AG indicts man of 3 counts of murders in 2015
Pilot With NC Ties Indicted In 2015 Triple Murder
Man indicted for 2015 Pembroke, Kentucky murders
Man indicted for 2015 Christian County triple murder
Man Arrested In 2015 Triple Slaying In Christian County
Christian R. Martin Indicted for 2015 Christian County Triple Murder
Pembroke Triple Murder Suspect A Pilot For American Airlines
Pilot accused of 2015 triple murder in Western Kentucky arrested at Louisville airport
Pilot arrested at Louisville airport, indicted for 2015 triple murder
American Airlines pilot arrested at Louisville airport for 2015 triple homicide
Airline pilot charged with killing 3 in Kentucky in 2015
Airline pilot arrested, charged in connection with 2015 triple murder in Kentucky
Airline pilot faces murder and arson charges in 2015 triple slaying in Kentucky
Two bodies in a burned car, another shot in his home. Years later, a former neighbor is indicted.
Christian Co. Grand Jury Unseals Triple Murder Indictment Friday
Man Indicted for 2015 Christian County Triple Murder: After meeting with family members two years ago Beshear’s office took over the case (May 11, 2019 Tweet)
Past defense attorney for Army Major indicted in triple murder says he’s innocent
Former Army Major indicted in triple murder, past attorney says he’s innocent

2019 (Arraignment):
Arraignment Set For Pilot Charged In 3 Killings In Christian County
Arraignment set for pilot charged in 3 killings in Kentucky
Martin arraigned in court for Pembroke murders
Pembroke triple homicide suspect entered not guilty plea at arraignment
Pilot arrested at Louisville airport pleads not guilty in triple murder case
Christian Martin, pilot arrested in triple murder, pleads not guilty
Raleigh pilot Christian Martin charged with triple murder pleads not guilty
Airplane pilot pleads not guilty in Kentucky triple murder case
Pilot charged in Kentucky triple slaying pleads not guilty
Pilot arrested at Louisville airport pleads not guilty in triple murder case
Pilot arrested at Louisville airport pleads not guilty in triple murder case
Commercial pilot pleads not guilty to 2015 triple murder charges
American Airlines Pilot Pleads Not Guilty To Murder
American Airlines pilot pleads NOT guilty to the 2015 murders of three people
Fiancee of commercial pilot charged in Kentucky triple homicide says he’s ‘100 percent innocent’
Dad died over evidence he gave Army, victim’s son says after pilot’s arrest in triple homicide
Pilot accused of triple murder claimed in interview one victim had affair with his ‘bigamist’ ex-wife
Neighbors relieved after suspect arrested in 2015 Christian County murders
‘Monster’ in the Cockpit: Inside the Crazy Case of the American Airlines Pilot Accused of Triple Murder
Kentucky town hopes for closure as pilot returns to face triple murder charges
‘Scars the community’ Pilot, former Army major held without bond in triple Kentucky murder
Who Is Christian Martin? New Details On The Army Major Turned Airline Pilot Arrested For Triple Murder
Christian Martin: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Pilot accused in 2015 triple homicide could face death penalty
Update: Man Indicted For 2015 Christian Co. Triple Murder Could Face Death, Held Without Bond

10 Unsolved Military Cases

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Darlene Krashoc, U.S. Army

UPDATE: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; DNA Match Leads to Arrest of Michael Whyte (March 17, 1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, U.S. Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, U.S. Air Force

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, U.S. Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, U.S. Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

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SrA Blanca Luna, U.S. Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

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SSG Anton Phillips, U.S. Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

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Katherine Morris, U.S. Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Sean Wells, U.S. Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, U.S. Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

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Andrew Muns, U.S. Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

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Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, U.S. Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)

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Jennifer Norris, USAF Retired (medical), Onyx, Senator Angus King (Maine), Stephanie Brewer, USMC Retired (medical), and Chinook | December 13, 2017

Military justice policy analyst Jennifer Norris was invited to speak in the Gold Room at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. on December 12, 2017. The veterans organization she accompanied provided her with fifteen minutes to present and she chose to speak about the current troubling status of the Fort Hood Army post near Killeen, Texas. She also shared the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers. Marine veteran Stephanie Brewer was in attendance and assisted Jennifer with the presentation of the material. Stephanie created a powerpoint presentation to help the audience see these soldier’s faces and remind them that they matter and their families love them. After the presentation, they visited Senator John McCain’s office (Chair, Senate Armed Services Committee), Representative Mac Thornberry’s Office (Chair, House Armed Services Committee), Senator Ted Cruz’s Office (supports the Military Justice Improvement Act), Senator Susan Collin’s Office (supports the MJIA), and finally Senator Angus King’s Office (who has consistently voted against the MJIA). While attending a constituent’s coffee event at Senator King’s office, these veterans inquired about the status of the retaliation law’s promised by Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. The response:

I wanted to follow up on our meeting yesterday by forwarding some information about efforts to prevent retaliation against servicemembers who report crimes.

The first important step is gathering data on retaliation so that leadership can best figure out how to address the issue. The DOD includes statistics on retaliation in its annual reports on sexual assault and reporting. They recently changed the way that they gather the data so that they can get a more accurate picture of which servicemembers experience the type of behavior that qualifies legally as retaliation under the UCMJ. As I mentioned yesterday, the data doesn’t go back very far- the DOD has only been collecting this information for a year. As the database grows, so will the DOD’s understanding of the real scope and nature of the problem. This should help target solutions.

A number of lawmakers are really committed to addressing this problem, as well. Senator McCaskill from Missouri introduced a bill last year that aimed to prevent military retaliation. Senator King cosponsored the bill. A summary is available here.

The bill didn’t move out of committee, so Senator McCaskill or another member might try to reintroduce it later. Another possibility is that next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could include similar language.

-Senator Angus King’s Office

These veterans were successful at setting up times to meet with defense fellows at Thornberry, Collins, and King’s offices. They also stopped into Senator McCain’s office to get the scheduling contact information for him because he consistently does not get back to one. They gave the same Fort Hood presentation to the defense fellows as the one they gave in the Gold Room except this time they had more time to discuss each individual. If it was up to these veterans, they would sit there all day and talk about every single soldier because all their lives matter. Overall, they report the active duty fellows they met with were receptive. They illustrated that the common theme with the four soldiers discussed is involvement in the military justice system in one way or another. The following presentation helps you get an understanding of the issues at bases nationwide by telling you the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers and their experiences in the last couple of years. All had mental health issues and three are dead. The other soldier is in federal prison for eighteen months for a threatening phone call he made to Fort Hood. This incident occurred after he was exonerated of a crime and released from a military prison yet stonewalled and dismissed when he asked about his backpay.

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Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood

Last time I was in DC in September 2016, I provided my Senator with military policy recommendations that would benefit families who doubt a cause of death ruling. I highlighted a need for compassionate care for families, independent investigations, and cold case squads in the Army and the Air Force, much like the NCIS Cold Case Squad. Sadly it appears the military has a history of ruling what looks like a homicide as a suicide. One of the most publicized examples is that of Pfc. LaVena Johnson. The Army ruled LaVena’s death a suicide but an independent autopsy revealed she was raped and murdered. To this day, the Army will not cooperate with the family of LaVena Johnson who has begged them to find their daughter’s killer. The alarming stateside death rate at Fort Hood alone only strengthens the resolve to continue asking for mental health and criminal justice reform in the military.

73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide

“Simple enough answer, between incompetent leaders, the drugs, the gang bangers, poor units, ghetto neighborhoods, poor quality soldiers, and just being in Texas, this place is where souls go to die… Hood kills you on the inside. The outside follows shortly afterwards..” -Anonymous

Fact: In the last two years, more soldiers at Fort Hood died stateside than overseas. The six non combat deaths that occurred overseas were insider attacks (4) and death ruled suicide by the Army CID (2). The following numbers are the specifics at Fort Hood in Texas since January 2016.

73 deaths at Fort Hood since January 1, 2016. 

  • As of August 2017, 9,300 soldiers from Fort Hood were currently deployed across the globe, this is more than a 1/4 of the 35,000 troops stationed there
  • Average age of death is 28 years old
  • Average 1.5 suspected suicides per month since January 2016
  • 6 overseas deaths to include 4 insider attacks and 2 suicides
  • 67 stateside deaths to include 34 alleged suicides (13 soldiers had no known deployments; 21 soldiers had deployed to Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan)
  • 1 unsolved homicide in Killeen, Texas (Justin Lewis)
  • 11 died in training accidents, 9 died in one training incident

6 OVERSEAS DEATHS

4 insider attacks, Afghanistan; 2 non combat deaths, Iraq & Korea

10/20/16: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed and shot to death by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform); 11/12/16: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s day fun run, Afghanistan); 11/12/16: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 12/06/16: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (succumbed to injuries, suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 02/21/17: Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Iraq); 08/02/17: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Korea)

67 STATESIDE DEATHS

3 homicides off base

01/05/16: Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, Alabama; Charleston Wells, 16, Ahmad Johnson, 18, Darrian Bryant, 16, and De’Ron Lucas, 19, charged with murder; Wells found not guilty); 04/17/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot & killed near vacant lot in neighborhood near post in Killeen, Texas; unsolved homicide); 05/05/17: Travis Granger, 29, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, 27 year old Keith Marinnie charged with murder)


A Fort Hood soldier spoke candidly about what they say the reality of living on the Texas military base is like. (2014) –CNN

13 found dead on post

01/03/16: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (missing, found dead at on-post recreation area, Army CID ruled death suicide); 06/06/16: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (gunshot wound, Sportsmen’s Center); 07/12/16: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead near BLORA paintball court); 08/19/16: Dion Servant, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks); 09/13/16: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence); 12/24/16: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead at base housing, death ruled suicide by Army CID); 01/11/17: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at place of duty on post); 01/12/17: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks room on post); 02/05/17: Steven Hines, 29, US Army (CID Agent found dead behind office building of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, death ruled suicide); 02/27/17: Andre Nance, 34, US Army (found dead at Fort Rucker, Alabama hotel); 04/07/17: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room); 07/11/17: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post residence); 10/12/17: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post)

21 found dead off post

01/16/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (military officer found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nolanville apartment, death ruled suicide); 03/14/16: Brian Reed, 40, US Army (gunshot wound, Copperas Cove residence); 03/20/16: Andrew Poznick, 45, US Army (military officer found dead at off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, death ruled suicide); 03/20/16: Steven Lewis, 33, US Army (self-inflicted wound, off-post residence, Killeen); 05/01/16: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post residence, Killeen); 05/23/16: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (death ruled suicide at Bell County jail); 06/10/16: Duane Shaw III, 34, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post home, Temple); 08/04/16: Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army (found unresponsive in Copperas Cove, Texas); 09/17/16: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post in Killeen); 10/07/16: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death ruled suicide, Copperas Cove, Texas); 10/15/16: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence); 11/16/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana); 11/18/16: Korey James, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off post residence, Killeen); 11/26/16: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (self-inflicted gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 01/02/17: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died from gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 02/06/17: Christie Anderson, 44, US Army (found dead at off post residence, Killeen); 05/14/17: Jon Bullard, 40, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Belton, Texas); 06/15/17: Devon Tucker, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove); 07/26/17: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia); 10/14/17: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen); 10/18/17: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)

11 died in training accidents

06/02/16: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident); 02/17/17: Michael Garcia, 29, US Army (died in vehicle training accident); 09/12/17: Sean Devoy, 28, US Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training)

3 died from unspecified medical issues

11/10/16: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness); 01/01/17: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died after complications from short illness); 10/05/17: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)

7 died in motorcycle accidents

05/09/16: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (rear ended a van in Killeen, Texas); 06/05/16: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (struck livestock on Fort Hood); 08/01/16: Logan Rainwater, 24, US Army (SUV turned in front of him in Killeen); 09/09/16: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (slammed into minivan, eluding Killeen PD); 03/26/17: Jonathan Garcia, 29, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, for reasons unclear, bike lost control on curve, veered off road, & struck cable barrier); 07/03/17: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, went airborne into creek in Killeen); 07/14/17: James Smith, 24, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, lost control of bike on I-35 in Temple)

4 died in automobile accidents

03/06/16: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army (fatal auto collision with truck on I-35; driver & Fort Hood soldier Timothy Corder charged with intoxication manslaughter); 06/11/16: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (driving the wrong way on State Highway 195, vehicle collided with another driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23, who died at scene); 11/03/16: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (missing for 3 weeks, fatal auto accident on post that occurred night he went missing, family wants missing ‘Warrior Alert’ law); 01/07/17: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash on South Range Road at Fort Hood)

4 died unexpectedly

04/16/17: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Temple Lake Park); 10/14/17: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming, Mansfield); 02/18/17: Sean Callahan, 31, US Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa); 04/11/17: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)

1 self inflicted & officer involved shooting

10/12/17: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (accused of sex crime; command directed ‘wellness check’ initiated 1 month before trial; shot at by police but died of self inflicted gunshot wound after high speed car chase)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, US Army

Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (October 12, 2017)

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 at the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Family contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Alva was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on MSG Gwinn who was located in his car. MSG Gwinn then lead police on a high speed car chase after they attempted to approach him. MSG Gwinn’s home of record is listed as Richwood, West Virginia. He entered active-duty military service in September 1999 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012.

According to reports, Alva fled on foot after the high speed chase with police. He shot at the police at least once and they fired back but in the end he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In June 2016, Alva Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 2012. Alva was scheduled to go to trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge in November 2017. Alva Gwinn had served in the Army for twelve years and was a highly decorated combat veteran known for being a perfectionist. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served in the US Army.

Areas of Concern:

  • In October 2017, the Fort Hood chain of command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on Alva Gwinn; family reported he was suffering what appeared to be a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal
  • The police located Alva in his car but he took off when approached and then lead the police on a high speed car chase that ended with Alva fatally shooting himself
  • How can we prevent a ‘wellness check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why the high speed car chase?
  • Alva was facing an aggravated sexual assault trial in November 2017
  • Whether guilty or innocent, this is a tragic end for a man accused of a crime
  • What does the Army do with the accused who are awaiting criminal trial?
  • Is Fort Hood responsible for the mental health of those accused of crimes?

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Pfc. Thomas Chestnut, US Army

Wrongful Conviction: Fort Hood Army Soldier Thomas Chestnut’s Guilty Verdict was Overturned by the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals (December 14, 2016)

Fort Hood Army soldier Thomas Chestnut, 28, was freed from a Kansas military prison on December 23, 2016 after an appellate court overturned a guilty verdict on December 14, 2016. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction finding evidence in the case as “factually insufficient.” The case stems from an accusation by a third party of a sexual assault of a man in August 2012 at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas. Chestnut was charged and found guilty by a military jury on one count of sexual assault and found not guilty of one specification of assault consummated by a battery. Chestnut testified that the encounter with the other soldier was consensual and the third party was trying to deflect attention from himself. Chestnut was sentenced on July 2, 2014 to three years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, a reduction in rank to private, and forfeiture of all pay. After Thomas Chestnut was exonerated, he was entitled to back pay and an honorable discharge from the military when he completed his time in service. Thomas was honorably discharged from the Army in January 2017 but had not yet been able to get his back pay. Thomas shared his thoughts on his wrongful conviction and his two and a half year imprisonment in mostly solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t commit.

“How could I respect the authority of such a corrupt system and such a corrupt institution? Not after what they did to me, to us, as I am not alone in this you see. Hundreds of my fellow veterans have also been falsely accused and forced into prison. Obviously, the military leadership lacks the maturity and ethics to handle sexual assault cases in a balanced adult way. They should not have authority in these matters.” via Save Our Heroes

Thomas Chestnut spent 2 1/2 years in prison where he was placed in solitary confinement and allegedly abused by prison guards. Thomas admits the prejudiced military justice system, corruption, and prison experience traumatized him. He most likely suffers from a form of institutional abuse. In December 2016, the appeals court overturned his conviction, he was cleared of all charges, released from prison, and promised back pay. Thomas stated: “I have nothing. No place of my own, no car, and little money. The Army has no plan for someone with a case overturned, so I’ve been more or less thrown out on the street.” Thomas Chestnut most likely has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the betrayal by the military justice system and the abuse he endured in prison marked as a man who rapes other men. In February 2017, Chestnut attempted to get his back pay from the Army as he had nothing, no job, no place to live, no means to take care of himself. The Army didn’t help him or give him the answers he deserved when it came to his backpay.

At this point, Thomas most likely had a post traumatic stress meltdown simply from having to deal with the same institution that wrongfully convicted him of a crime. After he didn’t get the answers he deserved regarding his back pay, he got angry and threatened to harm individuals at Fort Hood. As a result, Chestnut was arrested by FBI agents and charged with making threats to kill individuals at Fort Hood. Thomas has been in federal custody ever since he made the threats and now the life that he may have had a second chance at was taken away from him again. Obviously, Thomas shouldn’t have threatened to kill individuals at Ft Hood but the backpay issue and the fact he has PTSD should have been a mitigating factor in this case. For example, the state of destitution he was in and his legitimate need for money to sustain and take care of himself most likely triggered his post traumatic stress symptoms. He was desperate and the Army’s indifference and stonewalling most likely caused an already emotionally fragile man to disassociate and lash out. If he was within the state’s jurisdiction, chances are he would have access to a veteran’s court that would fight to give him another chance. Instead, Thomas Chestnut is in federal prison for 18 months for one threatening phone call.

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Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017)

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

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Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016)

Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.

Background:

Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”

Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.

image1The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.

On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.

Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.

What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.

How does the family get justice for Paige?

Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)

Related Links:
Army Veteran Tomas Young Dies at 34; Shot & Paralyzed on Black Sunday in 2004 on Peace Keeping Mission with Fort Hood in Sadr City, Iraq (2014)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
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)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson of Fort Campbell Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Family seeks answers after NC soldier Justin Lewis slain in Texas
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017)

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Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

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Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

Related Links:
U.S. Army SPC Zachary Moore Funeral – 8/11/17
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Spc. Zachary Charles Moore
Spc. Zachary Moore, 1st Cavalry Division
Fort Hood soldier dies in South Korea
Fort Hood soldier dies in Korea
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in barracks in South Korea identified
Soldier from VB dies after being found unresponsive in South Korea barrack
Virginia Beach soldier dies in South Korea
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)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Spc. Darius Cooper Swept Away in Floodwater Crossing at Fort Hood; Body Never Recovered, Military Board Ruled Deceased 2 Months Later (April 11, 2017)

Darius Cooper

Spc. Darius Cooper, U.S. Army

On June 16, 2017, Fort Hood published a press release indicating the Fort Hood Fire and Rescue teams were unsuccessful in locating Army Spc. Darius Cooper, who was swept away in flooding waters at Clear Creek near Turkey Run Road on Fort Hood just before 6 a.m. on April 11, 2017. The press release informed the public that the Army appointed a board of inquiry (per Army Regulation 638-8, Army Casualty Program, and Department of Defense Instruction 2310.05, Accounting for Missing Persons) to conduct a status determination and ruled that Spc. Cooper was deceased, his official date of death was April 11, 2017. Spc. Cooper, 40, listed San Antonio, Texas as his home of record and he entered active-duty service in June 2008 as a culinary specialist. At the time of his death, Spc. Cooper was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood in Texas since June 2016. Spc. Cooper deployed overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. As of 2019, Spc. Cooper’s body has not been located, therefore he is still missing despite the status of determination ruling.

“More than 800 individuals were involved in the search, including emergency responders from Texas Task Force One boat and dog teams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Texas Game Warden’s lake search teams, Morgan’s Point Resort Police Department dive and sonar search teams, Fort Hood’s Crisis Response Battalion ground search teams, and 1st Air Cavalry Brigade helicopter assets who aided in the search.” -Fort Hood Press Center (June 16, 2017)

Timeline of Events:

April 11, 2017

Emergency crews respond to vehicles caught in high water (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 1: All Fort Hood low-water crossings, Old Georgetown Road remain closed (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 2: Driver’s vehicle recovered without driver inside (Fort Hood Press Center)

April 12, 2017

UPDATE 3: Texas’ Task Force One joins the search for missing person in Clear Creek (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 4: Updated photos and Broll of the April 12 ongoing search efforts (Fort Hood Press Center)

April 13, 2017

UPDATE 5: Search and rescue teams increased their effort to find the missing individual April 13, as water levels reduced allowing teams access to more locations. (Fort Hood Press Center)
UPDATE 6: Search team officials conduct media engagement (Fort Hood Press Center)

April 19, 2017

UPDATE 7: Deliberate search continues for missing individual (Fort Hood Press Center)

May 11, 2017

UPDATE 8: Deliberate search continues for missing Soldier (Fort Hood Press Center)

June 15, 2017

Soldier swept away at Fort Hood crossing declared dead (KWTX)
Ft. Hood declares missing soldier swept away in floodwaters dead (KXAN)
Fort Hood soldier missing since April declared dead by Army (WFAA)
Fort Hood calls off search, releases name of soldier who died in April 11 flash flood (Killeen Daily Herald)
Fort Hood soldier lost during April floods determined deceased (Statesman)
Fort Hood declares missing soldier deceased, release identity (CBS Austin)
Army: Fort Hood soldier determined dead after being swept away by flood waters (Army Times)

June 16, 2017

UPDATE 9: Fort Hood Soldier lost in April 11 flash flood determined deceased (Fort Hood Press Center)
Fort Hood Officials Declare Missing Soldier Dead (CBS DFW)
Soldier Swept Away By Flood Waters Pronounced Dead (KTEM)

Related Links:
SPC Darius Cooper, Afghanistan (DVIDS)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (2019)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Fort Hood CW02 Andre Nance, US Army, Found Unresponsive at Fort Rucker Hotel in Alabama While Attending Training (2017)

CW2 Andre Nance lg

CW02 Andre Nance, US Army

CW02 Andre Nance, 34, US Army, of Fort Hood was found unresponsive in his on-post hotel room at Fort Rucker, Alabama on February 27, 2017.  CW02 Nance’s home of record is listed as Randallstown, Maryland and he entered the Army in February 2004. CW02 Nance was attending the warrant officer advance course at Fort Rucker and was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, III Corps at Fort Hood. Nance deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from April 2009 to April 2010, January 2012 to March 2012, and June 2014 to March 2015. The circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). The official cause of death is unknown.

Related Links:
CW2 Andre Nance lg.jpg
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andre George Nance – III Corps
Deceased Fort Rucker soldier identified
Fort Hood Soldier Found Dead in Alabama Hotel
Fort Hood soldier found unresponsive at Fort Rucker
Army IDs Fort Rucker soldier found dead on post
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in Alabama hotel identified
UPDATE: Soldier found dead at Fort Rucker hotel identified
Fort Hood soldier found dead on post in Alabama hotel
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier found dead in Alabama
Why Have So Many Fort Hood Army Soldiers Died Stateside in the Last Year?
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

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

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In the last 3 years from January 2016 to January 2019, Fort Hood on average lost 35 soldiers a year. If you divide 35 by 12 months, that’s an average of 3 soldiers a month. We must find out why so we can prevent these untimely deaths and save the precious lives and futures of these mostly young soldiers. The average age at time of death is 28 years old and each death has a ripple effect on the families, friends, and communities left behind. 

Fort Hood, Texas (U.S. Army)

  • 124 deaths at Fort Hood since January 2016
  • 1 missing/FBI extortion case
  • 4 insider attacks, Afghanistan
  • 2 combat deaths, Afghanistan
  • 1 non combat death (suicide), Iraq
  • 1 non combat death (suicide), Korea
  • 1 non combat related incident, Iraq
  • 115 stateside deaths
    • 5 homicides off post (2 unsolved)
    • 18 found dead on post
    • 24 found dead off post
    • 15 died in training accidents
    • 7 died from medical issues
    • 10 died in motorcycle accidents
    • 9 died in automobile accidents
    • 4 died in a swimming/boating accident
    • 2 died unexpectedly out of state
    • 1 declared dead after missing for 2 months
    • 1 shot self after Killeen PD ‘wellness check’
    • 1 civilian/veteran found dead at BLORA
    • 1 veteran lost battle to PTSD
    • 1 died conducting maintenance
    • 16 passed away while stationed at Fort Hood

We have been working in real time in an effort to collect the information of the soldiers we have lost stateside and overseas. We started these efforts a few years ago and are now just pulling things together by base. Fort Hood has come up enough in on-line research to warrant investigations into a recurring problem with untimely deaths in the form of training accidents, vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, suicide, violent crime, non combat death, insider attacks, and unknown causes of death. We noticed a large spike in soldier death in November 2016 when we learned that four soldiers died stateside at Fort Hood and two died in a suicide bombing on a protected base in Afghanistan at the start of a Veteran’s Day “fun run.” Allan Brown eventually succumbed to his injuries from the blast in December 2016. And because we track military crime and suspicious death cases both stateside and overseas, we observe far more untimely death when looking at the big picture.

We kept up with November 2016 and honored the service members we lost that month. Since then, we have lost many more Fort Hood soldiers which is why we created this post. There has been an unusually high cluster of deaths at one base in the last few years. The Army announced they were going to probe the unusually high death counts but like most things, the report will come back with some canned response to protect the Chain of Command. We are doing our own probe because we care and we want to find ways to learn from the past in an effort to save lives. After doing a google search ‘Soldier Found Dead Fort Hood’ we learned that 2016 was a tough year for the post and surrounding area in general. We want to acknowledge the families who have lost their loved ones. We want to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the soldiers who have died. We want to acknowledge the soldiers who were impacted by the untimely deaths of their fellow soldiers. It can’t be easy for a post to lose one soldier, let alone over one hundred in three years. Join us on Military Justice for all on Facebook and help us honor them and their friends and families by never forgetting.

Update (January 26, 2019):

There are no words right now for how incredibly sad it is for us to post this today. We not only care about these soldiers (and veterans) who have passed at Fort Hood but we care deeply for the families, friends and troops left behind. We share this with you so you will understand the magnitude of the issues we have with untimely, stateside deaths in an effort to honor those who have passed and learn from it so we can find ways to prevent it from happening to others.

We are especially disappointed with Fort Hood leadership who made the decision to stop providing the public with press releases notifying us of the death of a soldier in March 2018. A friend and military spouse whose been working on this project gently reminded all of us, it actually does a disservice to the families who need the community’s support and love at one of the most difficult times in their lives. Ultimately, it should be up to the families to make that decision and it comes at a time when we are laser focused on III Corps and Fort Hood, because we care.

February 2015
Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit

January 2016
1/3: Devin Schuette, 35, U.S. Army (found dead at BLORA near post, ruled suicide)
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)
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)
5/9: Ellsworth Raup, 33, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post)
5/23: Marcus Nelson, 45, U.S. Army (died while in custody at local jail)

June 2016
6/2: Christine Armstrong, 27, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Brandon Banner, 22, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Isaac Deleon, 19, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Zachery Fuller, 23, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Eddy Gates, 20, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Tysheena James, 21, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Yingming Sun, 25, U.S. Army (died in flood water incident on post)
6/2: Mitchell Winey, 21, U.S. Military Academy (died in flood water 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, found 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 on post at BLORA)

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

September 2016
9/9: Stacy Hardy, 20, U.S. Army (fatal motorcycle accident)
9/13: Andrew Hunt, 23, U.S. Army (officer found dead at on post residence)
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 off post residence)
10/20: 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 after went missing)
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)
11/10: Daniel Monibe, 32, U.S. Army (died of illness off post)
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 at off post residence)
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 housing)

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)
1/11: Alex Taylor, 23, U.S. Army (found dead at place of duty on post)
1/12: Zackary Partin, 24, U.S. Army (found dead in barracks room on post)

February 2017
2/5: Steven Hines, 29, U.S. Army (CID Agent found dead behind building)
2/6: Christie Anderson, 44, U.S. Army (found dead at off post residence)
2/17: Michael Garcia, 29, U.S. Army (died in vehicle training accident)
2/18: Sean Callahan, 31, U.S. Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa)
2/21: Brian Odiorne, 21, U.S. Army (non combat death in Iraq ruled suicide by CID)
2/27: Andre Nance, 34, U.S. Army (found dead on post at Fort Rucker, AL)

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

April 2017
4/7: Daniel Wildeman, 40, U.S. Army (found dead on post in barracks)
4/11: Darius Cooper, 40, U.S. Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)
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 in Killeen neighborhood, unsolved homicide)

May 2017
5/5: Travis Granger, 29, U.S. Army Veteran (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 (found unresponsive at on post home)
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 (found unresponsive in barracks room, S. Korea)

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, under investigation)
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 (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

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

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

July 2018
7/30: Timothy Jurgens, 19, U.S. Army (unknown, passed away while stationed at Fort Hood)

August 2018
8/4: Cleveland Lewis, 33, U.S. Army veteran (fatally shot 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, 2 men charged with capital murder)
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 (while standing outside her stalled vehicle in Edinburg, Texas, struck & killed by an alleged drunk driver)
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)

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)
7/13: James Sartor, 40, U.S. Army (result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations, Afghanistan)
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 Morales, 23, U.S. Army (Missing, FBI investigating attempts to extort mother)

September 2019
9/5: Mason Webber, 22, U.S. Army (died of injuries sustained conducting maintenance)

Learn more:
Honoring the U.S. Service Members Who Died in November 2016
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)
On This Day, Eight Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and 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)