15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

1LT Katie Blanchard, Fort Leavenworth, U.S. Army (2016)

On Tuesday, the man responsible for setting a U.S. Army lieutenant on fire last year was found guilty in federal court.The scars on Army Lt. Katie Blanchards face, neck, and hands are still visible. -41 Action News (August 8, 2017)

The Army ignored her warnings about a dangerous colleague. Then he set her on fire (Task and Purpose, June 5, 2019)

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

The family learned Kamisha Block was shot and killed while serving in Iraq. The Department of Defense told the Block family Kamisha was shot in the chest by friendly fire. -12 News Now (February 12, 2019)

Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (August 16, 2007)

Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2016)

Paige Briles Army Times

Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, U.S. Army (Photo: Army Times Facebook)

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Despite Suicide Ruling, Family Requests Homicide Investigation (December 24, 2016)

Pvt. Matthew Brown, Fort Bragg, Afghanistan, U.S. Army (2008)

Matthew Brown Army

Pvt. Matthew Warren Brown, U.S. Army (Photo: Vanity Fair Facebook)

“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower (Vanity Fair, January 8, 2019)

AEAN Brandon Caserta, Naval Station Norfolk, U.S. Navy (2018)

As Teri Caserta entered her son’s bedroom in their Peoria home, she broke down. It’s an emotion that Teri and her husband Patrick Caserta will always carry with them. Their son Brandon was in the United States Navy from 2015 to 2018. However, at just 21, Brandon would take his own life. -ABC15 Arizona (June 14, 2019)

Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta Died by Suicide at Naval Station Norfolk; Family Pushing for Suicide Prevention Legislation ‘The Brandon Act’ Focusing on Hazing & Bullying (June 25, 2018)

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2017)

Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, U.S. Army (Photo: Fox 7 Austin)

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)

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, Fort Campbell, Iraq, U.S. Army (2005)

Pfc. LaVena Johnson died in Iraq on July 19th, 2005 and her family needs your help. -Unsolved Mysteries (September 26, 2014)

Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)

SN Danyelle Luckey, U.S.S. Reagan, U.S. Navy (2016)

Danyelle Luckey

Danyelle Luckey, U.S. Navy (Photo: New York Post)

Navy Documents Raise Questions of Care in Local Sailor’s Death (NBC Bay Area, July 24, 2019)

Major Christian Martin, Fort Campbell, U.S. Army Veteran (2019)

Attorney General Andy Beshear on American Airlines pilot arrested in Louisville for 2015 triple murder in Christian County. -WLKY News Louisville (May 11, 2019)

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)

Spc. Zachary Moore, Fort Hood, Korea, U.S. Army (2017)

Zachary Moore

Spc. Zachary Moore, U.S. Army

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

SSG Devin Schuette, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2016)

From my heart to yours. 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 (February 16, 2015)

Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)

LCpl Riley Schultz, Camp Pendleton, U.S. Marine Corps (2019)

The Marine from Colorado found dead at a Southern California base earlier this month died by suicide, according to 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesperson. -FOX31 Denver (March 27, 2019)

Marine Corps LCpl Riley Schultz Found Dead at Camp Pendleton Entry Control Point; Death Ruled Suicide by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound But Family Disputes Findings (March 15, 2019)

Col. Philip Shue, Lackland Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force (2003)

An Air Force widow is determined to prove her husband’s death was no accident. -CBS News (March 21, 2009)

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)

Col. Michael Stahlman, Twentynine Palms, Iraq, U.S. Marine Corps (2008)

A Marine colonel is found shot in his bunk. Authorities say it was a suicide, his wife says it was murder — and she is determined to prove it. -48 Hours (March 28, 2019)

A Marine Colonel’s Widow Fights for the Truth Behind his Death: Suicide or Homicide? (48 Hours, CBS News, August 17, 2019)

Pvt. Dakota Stump, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2016)

Dakota Stump, 19, was found dead in Fort Hood, TX. -RTV6 The Indy Channel (November 4, 2016)

Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Found Dead on Post Three Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (November 3, 2016)

Related Links:
Fort Hood soldier: Inmates live better than we do
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq
Ft. Leavenworth employee set on fire describes horrifying attack
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
The Death of LaVena Johnson (Unsolved Mysteries)
American Airlines pilot arrested in Louisville for 2015 triple murder
The Curious Case Of Col. Philip Shue | CBS News
From My Heart to Yours | Devin Schuette
Marine from Colorado found dead at California base killed himself
Sneak peek: Widow’s War | 48 Hours
Missing soldier from Avon found dead

“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair (January 8, 2019)

Matthew Brown Army.png

Matthew Warren Brown, U.S. Army (via Vanity Fair Facebook)

Is the Army botching its investigations into noncombatant deaths?

I. The Gun Tower

“On the morning of May 11, 2008, a U.S. Army private second class named Matthew Warren Brown died of a single gunshot wound to the head while manning a watchtower at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. Brown was 20 years old. He was a skinny, all-American kid, a bit aimless but affable and unassuming. He was a good guy. You could see it in his face. At his funeral back home in Pennsylvania, some 200 people showed up. In the aftermath of Brown’s death, army investigators created files about the circumstances. The bullet that killed him was fired from his own weapon, an M4 carbine. He was working the six A.M. shift, alone in the watchtower by the fortified main gate to the base. The tower was known as the Gun Tower. It was made of concrete, and looked medieval when viewed from the outside. It was three stories tall. On the second and third floors it had openings covered with two-piece Plexiglas windows, some of which had broken off and been left lying in shards on the floors.” Read more from Vanity Fair here.

Related Links:
Pvt Matthew Warren Brown | Find A Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pvt. Matthew W. Brown
Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown | Honor the Fallen
Fort Bragg Soldier dies in Afghanistan
Soldier from Fort Bragg dies in Afghanistan
Fort Bragg soldier dies from injuries in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier killed in Afghanistan, father says
Soldier from Zelienople killed in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier who died in Afghanistan buried today
“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair
Family of soldier found dead in Afghanistan in 2008 says he did not commit suicide as claimed
Family of soldier who was found dead in Afghanistan watchtower in 2008 says he did not commit suicide, as the military claims, and had told them he feared he would be killed over his role in a drug ring that was being run on-base by a ‘thug’ sergeant
Army Pvt. Matthew Brown Died As a Result of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Afghanistan; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Alleges Murder in Vanity Fair Publication (May 11, 2008)

May: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (May 31, 2008)

Department of Defense

05/31/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Nunez, 27, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

05/29/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Chad Trimble, 29, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/28/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Justin Buxbaum, 23, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Hood, Texas

05/28/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Gathercole, 21, Afghanistan, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

05/28/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jason Dene, 37, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Stewart, Georgia

05/27/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Leimbach, 38, Afghanistan, South Carolina Army National Guard

05/27/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Frank Gasper, 25, Afghanistan, Fort Carson, Colorado

05/27/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Blake Evans, 24, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/27/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kyle Norris, 22, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

05/27/2008:  Airmen MIA From Vietnam War are Identified

05/23/2008:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Jeffrey Ammon, 37, Afghanistan, Provincial Reconstruction Team Ghazni

05/21/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeffrey Deprimo, 35, Afghanistan, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

05/21/2008:  DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty: Joseph Moore, 54, NCD, Djibouti, Idaho Air National Guard

05/20/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Davy Weaver, 39, Afghanistan, Georgia Army National Guard

05/20/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Branden Haunert, 21, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/20/2008:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: William Cooper, 22, Afghanistan, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

05/16/2008:  Soldiers Missing from The Korean War are Identified

05/16/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: John Daggett, 21, Iraq, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

05/14/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Victor Cota, 33, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

05/12/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jessica Ellis, 24, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/12/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Brown, 20, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

05/12/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Joseph Ford, 23, NCD, Iraq, Indiana Army National Guard

05/11/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Ara Deysie, 18, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/10/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Mary Jaenichen, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Stewart, Georgia

05/10/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Isaac Palomarez, 26, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/09/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Aaron Ward, 19, Iraq, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

05/09/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Alex Gonzalez, 21, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

05/08/2008:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualties: Casey Casanova, 22, Miguel Guzman, 21, James Kimple, 21, and Glen Martinez, 31, Iraq, Camp Pendleton, California

05/08/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Jeremy Gullett, 22, and Kevin Roberts, 25, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/05/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Corey Hicks, 22, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

05/04/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeffrey Nichols, 21, Iraq, Fort Polk, Louisiana

05/03/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Lawrence Ezell, 30, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

05/03/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Chad Caldwell, 24, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

05/03/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jerry DeLoach, 45, NCD, Iraq, WTU, Fort Knox, Kentucky

05/02/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Andrew Pearson, 32, and Ronald Tucker, 21, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

05/01/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Bryan Bolander, 26, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

05/01/2008:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Merlin German, 22, Iraq, Camp Pendleton, California

05/01/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Clay Craig, 22, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky 

Army Pvt. Matthew Brown Died As a Result of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Afghanistan; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Alleges Murder in Vanity Fair Publication (May 11, 2008)

Matthew Brown

Pvt. Matthew Brown, U.S. Army (photo: Vanity Fair)

Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown, 20, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, died May 11, 2008 in Asadabad, Afghanistan from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident. Pvt. Brown was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on behalf of the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At the time of the incident, the Department of Defense announced Pvt. Brown’s death was under investigation. On January 8, 2019, the family alleged Matthew was murdered in a Vanity Fair publication titled “Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower.

Related Links:
Pvt Matthew Warren Brown | Find A Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pvt. Matthew W. Brown
Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown | Honor the Fallen
Fort Bragg Soldier dies in Afghanistan
Soldier from Fort Bragg dies in Afghanistan
Fort Bragg soldier dies from injuries in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier killed in Afghanistan, father says
Soldier from Zelienople killed in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier who died in Afghanistan buried today
“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair
Family of soldier found dead in Afghanistan in 2008 says he did not commit suicide as claimed
Family of soldier who was found dead in Afghanistan watchtower in 2008 says he did not commit suicide, as the military claims, and had told them he feared he would be killed over his role in a drug ring that was being run on-base by a ‘thug’ sergeant
“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair (January 8, 2019)