Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside

US Army

Fort Hood, U.S. Army

  • 73 deaths at Fort Hood since 1/16
  • 4 insider attacks in Afghanistan
  • 1 non combat death (suicide), Iraq
  • 1 non combat death (suicide), Korea
  • 67 stateside non combat deaths
    • 3 homicides off base
    • 14 found dead on post
    • 21 found dead off post
    • 11 died in training accidents
    • 3 died from medical issues
    • 7 died in motorcycle accidents
    • 4 died in automobile accidents
    • 1 died in a swimming accident
    • 1 died unexpectedly out of state
    • 1 declared dead after missing
    • 1 shot self after accused of sex crime

I have been working in real time in an effort to collect the information of the soldiers we have lost stateside and overseas for a project I am working on. I started these efforts quite a few years ago but am now just pulling things together by base. Fort Hood has come up in research enough to warrant investigation into a 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. I 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 Day fun run. Allan Brown eventually succumbed to his injuries from the blast in December 2016. And because I track military crime and suspicious death cases both stateside and overseas, I observe far more death when looking at the big picture.

I kept up with November 2016 and honored the service members we lost that month. Since then, we have lost at least seven more Fort Hood soldiers which is why I created this post. There has been an unusually high cluster of deaths at one base in the last year. The Army has announced they are 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 want to protect all the soldiers by doing our own probe. After doing a google search ‘Soldier Found Dead Fort Hood’ I learned that 2016 was a tough year for the base in general. I want to acknowledge the families who have lost their loved ones. I want to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the soldiers who have died. I 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 several. Please help us honor The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook.

January 2016
1/3: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (found dead on post)
1/5: Jonathan “Mike” Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (homicide victim in Alabama)
1/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (officer found dead off post)

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

May 2016
5/1: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (found dead off post)
5/9: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post)
5/23: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (died while in custody at local jail)

June 2016
6/2: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident)
6/2: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident)
6/6: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (died of gunshot wound on post)
6/5: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (fatal motorcycle accident)
6/10: Duane Shaw, 34, US Army (found dead off post)
6/11: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (fatal automobile accident off post)

July 2016
7/12: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead on post)

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

September 2016
9/9: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (fatal motorcycle accident)
9/13: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence)
9/17: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post)

October 2016
10/7: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death was self-inflicted at off post residence)
10/15: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence)
10/20: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform)

November 2016
11/3: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (found dead on post after went missing)
11/12: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
11/12: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
11/10: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness off post)
11/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana)
11/18: Korey James, 21, US Army (found dead at off post residence)
11/26: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off-post)

December 2016
12/6: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (suicide Bomber on base, Afghanistan)
12/24: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead in vehicle at on post housing)

January 2017
1/1: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died of medical illness)
1/2: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died of gunshot wound off-post)
1/7: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (fatal auto accident)
1/11: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found dead on post)
1/12: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead at on post residence)

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

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

April 2017
4/7: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found dead on post in barracks)
4/11: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)
4/16: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Belton Lake)
4/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot to death in Killeen, ruled homicide)

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

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

July 2017
7/3: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (multiple blunt force injuries, death was ruled a motorcycle accident by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences)
7/11: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post home, under investigation)
7/14: James Smith, 24, US Army (fatal motorcycle accident off post, under investigation)
7/26: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Georgia)

August 2017
8/2: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room, S. Korea)

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

October 2017:
10/5: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)
10/12: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (shot self during high pursuit with police after accused of sex crimes)
10/12: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post, under investigation)
10/14: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming with friends)
10/14: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen)
10/18: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Copperas Cove)

Learn more:
Honoring the U.S. Service Members Who Died in November 2016
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Soldier standoffs: Police, community respond to scars of war
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Featured

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Objective: Provide support to families who have lost loved ones to non combat death, homicide, and suicide. Prevent non combat death, homicide and suicide by providing an expedited transfer option to whistleblowers and those who feel like their lives may be in danger.

This is a small sample of the many soldiers that have died of non combat deaths, homicide, and suicide. It was hard for me to choose which ones to feature. Given the amount of families who have questioned a ruling of suicide while their loved one was serving in the US military, it’s fair to say that some suicide rulings should have a second look to determine if a homicide was ruled out. It’s important to note that if the cause of death is determined to be suicide, then the military never has to investigate again.

Brief overview of need for expedited transfers for whistleblowers in general:

John Needham and Adam Winfield had a lot in common: they both claim to have witnessed war crimes, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. They both wanted to report the war crimes but didn’t feel safe doing so. They both admitted to feeling like they were set up to die or participate in the war crimes. The only difference: John’s parents were able to get him out of Iraq after he started deteriorating mentally. Adam’s parents were not able to get him out of Afghanistan and he was charged with war crimes after he was set up to participate. On the Dark Side of Al Doura and the Kill Team Movie are must sees because they show the similarity in the cases and reveal how an expedited transfer option could have helped them & saved innocent civilian lives. I included a history of crime at the bases they were stationed at to demonstrate that the crime simply follows them overseas.

John Needham, Army (2008):
Retired Army Pvt John Needham Beat Girlfriend Jacqwelyn Villagomez to Death, Then Died of Overdose on Painkillers Awaiting Murder Trial
An Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the US Army: On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq
On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq on YouTube
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson

Adam Winfield, Army (2010):
Army Soldier Adam Winfield Tried to Report War Crimes But Instead was Charged with War Crimes as Part of ‘The Kill Team’
PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Nominated for an Emmy
The Kill Team on Amazon Prime
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at JBLM

Would the expedited transfer option help prevent suicide or homicide in these cases?

Alyssa Peterson, Army (2003)

There were concerns that Alyssa committed suicide because she didn’t want to participate in war crimes like torture. Could her life have been saved if she felt like she had a way out? Did she commit suicide? Was homicide ruled out?

Gloria Davis, Denise Lannaman, & Marshall Gutierrez, Army (2006)

Reports indicate Gloria Davis, Army (2006) committed suicide hours after she provided names and testimony to CID investigators regarding soldiers involved in a bribery scheme in Kuwait. She was a witness to the crimes and a witness for the prosecution. Did she commit suicide? Was homicide ever considered? How could this have been prevented? She was one of 3 people in the same logistics group in Kuwait tied to the bribery scheme investigation that committed suicide. Both Denise Lannaman, Army (2006) and Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez, Army (2006) deaths were ruled suicides by the Army as well. Were any of these cases investigated as homicides? Did anyone question why three soldiers from Kuwait tied to one investigation killed themselves?

Suzanne Swift, Army (2006)

Suzanne refused to redeploy for a third time for fear that she would be raped or assaulted this time. She went AWOL instead & was jailed. Could this have been prevented if she had a way out of Fort Lewis? She hadn’t been raped or assaulted yet. She was trying to prevent it given the isolation in Iraq. Does the expedited transfer apply to sexual harassment situations where the offender(s) are escalating? How could we have prevented this? If you look at the history of violent crime at JBLM and in Iraq, you can clearly see why Suzanne Swift was fearful for her life. She chose life and jail over rape and murder.

Genesia Gresham, Navy (2007)

Genesia and Anamarie Camacho were victims of homicide in Bahrain. Genesia was said to have been in a casual relationship with the shooter at one point. Were there red flags prior to the murder? Was the shooters behavior escalating? Does domestic violence, harassment, and stalking qualify for an expedited transfer? Could this have been prevented if Genesia had a way out when she realized she may have been in danger? The killer was never jail but instead institutionalized for mental health issues.

Jennifer Valdivia, Navy (2007)

Jennifer was at the center of command investigation of abuse of prisoners in Bahrain. It was reported that she did not want to participate in war crimes yet was belittled, harassed, and abused by a supervisor if she didn’t do what he asked. If she had a way out, could this suicide have been prevented? Was it a suicide? Was it ever investigated as a homicide?

Kelsey Anderson, USAF (2011)

The Anderson family reported that Kelsey’s health deteriorated after she learned that she could not transfer or get out of the military while stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Why did she want a transfer? Why did she want to get out of the military all of a sudden? Did something happen to make Kelsey feel the need to get out of Guam as quickly as possible? Her death was ruled a suicide. Could this have been prevented if she was allowed to transfer? The Air Force took her gun privileges away shortly after she got to Guam because of mental health concerns. They gave it back to her a month before she died.

Danny Chen, Army (2011)

Danny was being hazed and bullied by fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Could his death have been prevented if he had a way out of this situation? Does the expedited transfer apply to scenarios where an individual is being hazed, harassed, and physically assaulted? Did Danny fear murder? How could this have been prevented so Danny didn’t feel like suicide was the only way out?

Ciara Durkin, Mass Army National Guard (2007)

Ciara found discrepancies in the finance office in Afghanistan & feared that she made enemies. She asked her family to investigate if anything happened to her while she was overseas. Could we have saved Ciara’s life if once she realized that crimes may have been committed, she could leave and then safely report? Ciara was a witness to crime yet had to remain in the setting. Do expedited transfers apply to those who want to report crimes yet cannot do so safely in an isolated location?

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I researched the non combat deaths of female soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas. I was alarmed by what I learned. It appears that close to 30% of the deaths of female soldiers in Iraq alone are from homicide, suicide, or unknown causes. I am working on doing the same research for male soldiers but have been overwhelmed with the number of non combat deaths of male soldiers. I am starting with 2010 to 2016. Then will focus energy on 2001 to 2010.

Non Combat Death of Female Soldiers:
Iraq
Afghanistan
Other Areas

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There are many cold cases in the military. The Army has the most cold cases. This list is a small sample of the cold cases in the military. Each case has the same theme. The families feel like they can’t get cooperation from the military to figure out what happened to their loved one. The families are devastated by the loss and traumatized further by the indifference, lack of support, and bureaucracy. If the homicide occurred on a base, they have nowhere to turn but the military because of federal jurisdiction issues. Most civilian cold case investigators ask for other investigators to take a look at cases to give them a fresh set of eyes. New investigators can add additional expertise to help find answers and give families closure. Two must see documentaries highlighting some of the major issues with investigations in the military are The Tillman Story (Pat Tillman) and The Silent Truth (LaVena Johnson).

Cold Cases:
Gorden Hess, Army (1998)
Col Philip Shue (2003)
Lavena Johnson, Army (2005)
Tina Priest, Army (2006)
Kamisha Block, Army (2007)
Benjamin Griego, Army NG (2007)
Seteria Brown, Army (2008)
Stacy Dryden, USMC (2008)
Blanca Luna, USAF (2008)
Keisha Morgan, Army (2008)
Cherie Morton, Navy (2008)
BG Thomas Tinsley, USAF (2008)
Anton Phillips, Army (2009)
Amy Seyboth-Tirador (2009)
Katherine Morris, Army Spouse (2012)
Sean Wells, Army (2013)
Virginia Caballero, Army (2014)
Devin Schuette, Army (2016)

Cases Solved by NCIS Cold Case Squad:
Lt Verle Hartley, Navy (1982)
Andrew Muns, Navy (1968)

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Other Areas of Concern:
David Dickson, US Army (1984) Tracking criminal behavior world wide
Kathleen Lipscomb, USAF spouse (1986) Jurisdiction Issues
Walter Smith, USMC (2006) Use of PTSD defense/stigma
Maria Lauterbach, USMC (2007) Expedited Transfer Policy
Jennifer Cole, Army (2008) Accountability/Investigations
Holley Wimunc, US Army (2008) Domestic Violence/Military Role
Morganne McBeth, Army (2010) Sentencing/Negligent Homicide
Mikayla Bragg, Army (2011) Mental Health/Suicide/Personnel Records
Kelli Bordeaux, Army (2012) Sex offender registry/Army role
Michelle Miller, Army (2013) Accountability of those in positions of power
Shadow McClaine, Army (2016) DV & attempted murder prior to homicide
Cati Blauvelt, US Army spouse (2016) DV/Accountability/Fugitives
Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers (2016)
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the SGLI
5 Service Members Currently on Military Death Row at Leavenworth
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts

History of Homicide/Suicide on Military Bases:
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at US Military Bases

Recommendations:

  • Expand expedited transfer policy to include whistleblowers (war crimes, hazing, stalking, sex harassment, witnesses to crimes) in an effort to prevent homicide and suicide
  • Creation of cold case squads in the Army & Air Force to investigate homicide & suicide rulings
  • Centralized location for families to call to initiate an investigation of suicide ruling or cold cases, with mental health component
  • Official way to dispute findings of military investigators/medical examiners, ability to request a second independent investigation

The Feres Doctrine prevents soldiers from suing the Armed Forces for injuries incurred in the line of duty but families can sue the government in an effort to hold them accountable. Although lawyers and lengthy court battles are costly and re-traumatizing for the families. They shouldn’t have to sue the the government to get answers. They shouldn’t have to submit a FOIA request to find out how their loved one passed. Therefore it only seems fair that we give families the answers and support they need when they lose a loved one who is serving in the US military.

We need centralized databases so that records of criminal activity can be more readily tracked to prevent a violent criminal from escalating to homicide. The military is considered one team now and their criminal activity impacts service members in all branches and civilians in the US and other countries. Given the transient population and jurisdiction issues, it only makes sense to utilize the existing FBI national database in an effort to connect crimes committed on bases, overseas, deployed locations, and in the civilian jurisdictions here in the US. The overall goal is to prevent multiple victims and homicide.

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
Soldier found dead on Fort Hood identified
Soldier who was found dead at Fort Hood identified
Fort Hood officials ID soldier who was found dead at BLORA
New Mexico man found dead at Fort Hood
Fort Hood: Clovis soldier found dead
Soldier who died at Fort Hood was from Clovis
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier: Staff Sgt. Devin Lee Schuette
Staff Sgt. Devin L. Schuette, 35, of Fort Hood died Sunday, Jan. 3
Dead soldier identified as Clovis native; Investigation continues
Army continues investigation into death of Clovis soldier
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
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