Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (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
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Fort Hood Army Spc. Bradley Acker Found Dead at Off-Post Residence in Copperas Cove; CCPD Reported Cause of Death Self-Inflicted (2016)

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Spc. Bradley Acker, US Army

Army Spc. Bradley Acker, 25, was found dead at his off-post residence in Copperas Cove, Texas on October 7, 2016. Spc. Acker’s home of record is listed as Canandaigua, New York and he joined the Army in October 2010. Spc. Acker was reclassified as an aircraft power plant repairer and was assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in 2014. The Copperas Cove Police Department ruled the cause of death was self-inflicted.

Related Links:
Spc. Bradley Michael Acker, 1st Cavalry Division
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier found dead in his home
Fort Hood Soldier found unresponsive, identified
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Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in residence identified
Fort Hood officials ID soldier found dead in Cove
Soldier Found Dead At Fort Hood, 13th Body Found Since September
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

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

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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.

Related Links:
Obituary: SSG Devin L. Schuette
Man found dead at Fort Hood
Army IDs soldier found dead at Fort Hood
Soldier found dead at Fort Hood identified
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Staff Sgt. Devin L. Schuette, 35, of Fort Hood died Sunday, Jan. 3
Dead soldier identified as Clovis native; Investigation continues
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The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
From My Heart to Yours (YouTube)
Military Spouse and Widow Tannie Schuette Live Facebook (video)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members


“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

Air Force SrA Katrina Jackson Died of Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound at Joint-Base Elmendorf-Richardson (2014)

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SrA Katrina Jackson, US Air Force

Air Force SrA Katrina Jackson, 22, of Universal City, Texas died from injuries sustained from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Alaska on February 15, 2014. SrA Jackson joined the Air Force in 2010 and was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in 2011 where she was assigned as a patrolman with the 673rd Security Forces Squadron. Media reports indicate that the circumstances surrounding her death were investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI). SrA Jackson was one of four servicemen from JBER found dead this month: Army Sgt. Okan Cetinbag on February 11; and SSgt. Darian Miller on February 18; and SSgt. Samuel Davis on February 23.

Related Links:
Senior Airman Katrina Jackson
Airman dies on JBER
Soldier’s death marks fourth JBER fatality in a month
JBER airman’s passing marks fourth death in February
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska (Army & Air Force)

Air Force Major Melissa Birtzer Found Dead at Eglin Air Force Base Range, No Foul Play Suspected (2012)

Honoring Major Melissa Birtzer @USAirForce (2012)

Major Melissa Birtzer, US Air Force

Air Force Major Melissa Birtzer, 42, went missing from the Fort Walton Beach area in Florida on November 17, 2012.  A few days later on Nov 20th, Major Birtzer was found dead at the Eglin Air Force Base range. The USAF reported that the case was under investigation and then updated the public with the announcement that there was no foul play suspected. The official cause of death is unknown but was not ruled a homicide. Co-workers shared she may have been ‘depressed’ prior to her disappearance. Major Birtzer served honorably for 18 years first as an enlisted Intelligence Specialist and then as a Nurse. She also completed two tours in Afghanistan. Melissa is survived by a spouse and two children.

Related Links:
Melissa Birtzer Obituary
Missing Hurlburt Major Found Dead
Melissa Ann Birtzer Discovered Three Days After Disappearance from Fort Walton Beach Home

SSG Jessica Wing, US Army, Died of a Non Combat Related Incident in Kuwait City, Kuwait (2012)

Jessica Wing, US Army (2012)

SSG Jessica Wing, US Army

SSG Jessica Wing, US Army, died of a non combat related incident in Kuwait City, Kuwait on August 27, 2012. SSG Jessica Wing was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, Maine Army National Guard in Bangor, Maine. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is under investigation.

“The tags belonged to Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing, 42, who took her own life on Aug. 27, 2012, in Kuwait while serving with the 126th Aviation Medevac Unit, based in Bangor. It was her sixth deployment. With 23 years of military duty, she spent nearly all of her adult years in uniform.” -Bangor Daily News

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing
Maine Soldier Dies in Kuwait
Virginia soldier SSG Jessica Wing dies in Kuwait
Funeral held for helicopter crew chief from Maine
Remembering fallen Maine soldier Staff Sgt. Jessica Wing
‘We need to do everything we can’: In culture shift, Maine National Guard opens up about suicide prevention
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

LCpl Hollye Meeks, USMC (2012)

Honoring LCpl Hollye Meeks @USMC (2012)

Photo by: Staff Sgt. Raymie G. Cruz

Honoring LCpl Hollye Meeks, USMC, 25, Died June 1, 2012

“Lance Cpl. Hollye K. Meeks (left) searches Cpl. Roxanne Cox, after receiving a class on the proper procedures from members of a police transition team. Eight female Marines from different units within 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing volunteered for the Lioness Program to conduct security searches of women crossing into Iraq. Meeks is a motor transport vehicle operator, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Marine Wing Support Group 37 (Reinforced), 3rd MAW, and a Houston, Texas native. Cox is a maintenance management specialist, with Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd MAW, and a Cincinnati native.” (22 Aug 2006)

Related Links:
Lance Cpl. Hollye K. Meeks searches Cpl. Roxanne Cox
Female Marines train for Iraq border security
Marines Dodging Death: Sixty-Two Accounts of Close Calls
Hollye Krystine Meeks Obituary

Fort Hood Army Soldier Michael Bailey II Allegedly Committed Suicide, Family Petitions Military and Killeen PD to Investigate Death as Murder (2011)

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Spc. Michael Henry Bailey II, US Army, died on December 29, 2011 from injuries sustained from a gunshot wound on December 23, 2011. He was assigned to 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas. Spc. Bailey deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2011 to November 2011. At the time of the Army press release, the incident was under investigation. According to a family petition, they believe that there was more evidence supporting murder then suicide. They asked the Army and the Killeen Police Department to investigate the circumstances further as they believe that someone close to Spc. Bailey’s life had motive (life insurance) and this person was allegedly present at the location on the day of the shooting.

Related Links:
Death of a Fort Hood soldier: Spc. Michael Henry Bailey II
‘Black Jack’ troopers mourn loss of Soldier
Justice for Army Spec E4 Michael Henry Bailey
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)

Spc Mikayla Bragg Died of a Non Combat Death in Afghanistan, Army Ruled Suicide & Report Calls for Continuity of Healthcare in Deployed Locations (2011)

Spc Mikayla Bragg, US Army (2011)

Spc Mikayla Bragg, US Army

Army Specialist Mikayla Bragg died of a non combat death in Khowst province, Afghanistan on December 21, 2011. Spc. Bragg was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on behalf of the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in Fort Knox, Kentucky. The Army ruled that Spc. Bragg’s cause of death was suicide. After an investigation it was revealed that commanders at Fort Knox failed to properly track Spc. Bragg as a “high-risk” soldier who could potentially hurt herself or others before she was cleared to deploy to Afghanistan. The Army investigators also made three recommendations in the report.

  1. Mental-health providers stateside should share more information about high-risk soldiers with mental-health providers in war zones. Camp Salerno’s behavioral-health officer said she had been unable to get mental-health records for Bragg because of privacy laws.
  2. Commanders should develop better procedures to ensure personnel data is not lost while transferring soldiers between units.
  3. No soldier, regardless of gender, should be stationed in a guard tower alone.

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Spc. Mikayla A. Bragg
Fort Knox soldier killed in Afghanistan
Longview soldier killed in Afghanistan
Longview soldier killed in Afghanistan (KOMO)
Longview soldier killed in Afghanistan (HeraldNet)
U.S. Army specialist from Longview killed in Afghanistan
Army Specialist with Ties to Shelton Killed in Afghanistan
Family, friends remember U.S. Army specialist from Longview killed in Afghanistan
Army Spc. Mikayla A. Bragg honored in dignified transfer Dec. 24
Flags lowered to honor Longview soldier
Jan. 5: Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of Mikayla Bragg
Report Finds Female Soldier Committed Suicide In Afghanistan
Longview soldier killed herself, report says
Longview soldier killed herself, report says (AP)
Report: Longview soldier committed suicide
Public Federal Way memorial honors Spc. Mikayla Bragg
Updated: The War Dead Since Sept. 21, 2011
The Unknown Soldiers: A Box of Flowers
Signs of respect in Holliston for Memorial Day
Vancouver Memorial Day ceremony pays tribute to region’s war dead
Confidentiality Speaking
‘Fell through the cracks’: Could Longview soldier’s death have been avoided?
139 Female Soldiers Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan
How Longview, Wash.’s Mikayla Bragg ‘fell through the cracks’
How Mikayla Bragg and 31 Soldiers “Fell Through The Cracks”
Army vet leads charge to create memorial for fallen Longview soldier
Thieves steal monument to Washington soldier who died in Afghanistan

Sgt Kimberly Agar, US Army (2011)

Honoring Sgt Kimberly Agar, US Army (2011)

According to the U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs, unit officials conducted a health and welfare inspection of Cpl. Kimberly D. Agar’s barracks room after Agar missed a medical appointment. The corporal was found unresponsive and German emergency medical personnel were contacted. A German doctor pronounced Agar, whose home of record is North Richland, Texas, dead at the scene on October 3, 2011. An investigation into the cause of death determined Kimberly died from suicide.

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Singing soldier Sgt. Kimberly D. Agar dies in Germany at 25
A year later, Texas soldier’s suicide still haunts her mother in Bedford
A Dream Come True Ends in Suicide for Soldier
Salute to SPC. Kimberly Agar
Suicide victim’s mother calls for improved mental health education
Military Suicide: Help for Families Worried About Their Service Member
Death Drives Mother to Help Others
Suicide rate for veterans far exceeds that of civilian population
Suicide Among Our Military & Veterans: Still a National Tragedy