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

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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)

Army Reservist Sgt. Christina Shoenecker Died of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Baghdad, Iraq (February 19, 2018)

Christina Schoenecker

Sgt. Christina Schoenecker, U.S. Army Reserve

Army Reservist Sgt. Christina Schoenecker, 26, died of a non-combat related incident on February 19, 2018 in Baghdad, Iraq. Sgt. Schoenecker was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 89th Sustainment Brigade, 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Wichita, Kansas. Sgt. Schoenecker’s home of record is listed as Arlington, Kansas. According to Honor the Fallen at Military Times, Sgt. Schoenecker enlisted in the military in May 2009 and served as a human resources specialist. At the time of the press release, the incident was under investigation which is typical with any non combat death but an official cause of death has not been determined or publicized by authorities. The site Popular Military shared that a source close to them in Iraq in an unofficial report believed it was a suicide. This could not be confirmed in other media reports.

In the News:

The body of U.S. Army Sergeant Christina Marie Schoenecker is escorted from the Hutchinson Airport to Elliot Mortuary by the Patriot Guard, Hutchinson Police and the Hutchinson Fire Departments. SGT Schoenecker died February 19, 2018, from a non-combat related incident, in Baghdad, Iraq at the age of 26. She will be buried in her hometown of Arlington, Kansas, Monday, March 5, 2018. -The Hutchinson News (March 2, 2018)

U.S. Army Sergeant Christina Marie Schoenecker was buried at Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Kansas on Monday, March 5, 2018. SGT Schoenecker died February 19, 2018, from a non-combat related incident, in Baghdad, Iraq at the age of 26. -The Hutchinson News (March 5, 2018)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Honor the Fallen: Sgt. Christina M. Schoenecker, U.S. Army Reserve
Christina Marie “Tina” Schoenecker | 1992 – 2018 | Obituary
Kansas soldier dies in Iraq
Kansas soldier dies in non-combat incident in Iraq
Female soldier dies in accident in Iraq
US soldier dies in non-combat incident in Baghdad
SGT Schoenecker’s body returns home
Army Sgt. Christina M. Schoenecker honored in dignified transfer Feb. 22
Army identifies soldier killed in noncombat incident in Baghdad
Army Identifies Sergeant Who Died While Deployed Supporting ISIS Fight
Kansas soldier dies in non-combat incident while supporting ISIS fight in Iraq
U.S. Army sergeant dies in Iraq, unofficial report suggests it was suicide
Mystery surrounds ‘non combat’ death of female soldier battling ISIS in Iraq as her body is returned home and Department of Defence announce an investigation
IGTNT: “She will be sorely missed” | Daily Kos
Funeral held for KS soldier who died last month in Iraq
Family and friends celebrate the life of Christina Schoenecker
Family, friends gather to honor fallen Arlington soldier
SGT Christina Marie Schoenecker’s burial service
Latest U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq
On Memorial Day: Three stories to remember the soldiers we have lost
CJTF-OIR reflects on significant military gains, fighting ISIS in 2018
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Sophie and Co | RT: Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim (2018)


Army abuse ‘was not bad luck, but a calculated crime’ – US veteran & rape victim -RT

Correction: Jennifer Norris is not an advocate for MRCC. She left the organization in 2014. About: https://jennifersnorris.com/about/

Related Links:
Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim
Army abuse ‘was not bad luck, but a calculated crime’ – US veteran & rape victim
Twitter: Sophie and Co (RT) | Jennifer Norris, US Air Force [Video]
Facebook: Military Justice for All | Jennifer Norris, US Air Force
What Happens When a Rape is Reported in the Military?
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Personal Story and Testimony of TSgt. Jennifer Norris, US Air Force Retired, Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (2013)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Massachusetts School of Law Interviews Veteran Jennifer Norris About Violent Crime in the Military & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (2017)
How do we stop the retaliation from happening so victims of crimes in the military feel safe to report? (2017)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Honoring the Victims of Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales, US Marine Corps, in California and Illinois (1986-1996)
Army Pvt Laura Vickery-Clay Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (1986)
Civilian Kimberly Ruggles Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (1987)
Army Soldier Erin Tynan was Raped & Strangled by Fellow Fort Irwin Soldier Christopher Geier in California, Geier Also Found Guilty of Murder-For-Hire & Attempted Murder (1990)
The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq (2005)
Army Pfc. Suzanne Swift Went AWOL from Fort Lewis; She Refused to Deploy for Third Time with Superiors She Accused of Sexual Harassment (2006)
Army Staff Sgt Paul Norris Shot Spc Kamisha Block Five Times in Iraq, Then Killed Self (2007)
US Marine LCpl Maria Lauterbach and Unborn Child were Murdered; Fellow Marine Cesar Laurean Found Guilty of First Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2007)
Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)
College Student Brianna Denison Kidnapped, Raped and Strangled by a Former Marine in Reno, Nevada; James Biela Sentenced to Death (2008)
Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)
Army Spc. Keisha Morgan Died of a Non Combat Related Cause in Baghdad, Iraq (2008)
Spc Mikayla Bragg Died of a Non Combat Death in Afghanistan, Army Ruled Suicide & Report Calls for Continuity of Healthcare in Deployed Locations (2011)
Marine Corps Spouse Brittany Killgore Held Captive, Tortured, Raped, and Murdered After Refusing Sex; 3 BDSM Cult Members Sentenced to Life (2012)
Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered HS Student & Recruit Michelle Miller, Then Killed Self; Army Claims Double Suicide (2013)
Air Force Reserve Captain Jamie Brunette Committed Suicide After What Parents Allege May Have Been an Unreported Sexual Assault in Afghanistan (2015)
Army Veteran Ashley Pullen First Dishonorably Discharged from the Military for Sexual Assault; Then Sentenced to Life in Prison in Oklahoma for Multiple Rapes with Narcotic Agent (2015)
Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)
Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers During Black Lives Matter Protest in Texas (2016)
Lt Col Teresa James Shares Experience with Sexual Assault & Reprisal at DoD IG Worldwide Hotline Outreach Conference
Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (2016)

 

West Virginia Air National Guardsman TSgt. David Board Died of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Kuwait (August 2, 2017)

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TSgt. David Board, West Virginia Air National Guard

Air Force TSgt. David Board, 49, died in a non combat related incident on August 2, 2017 in Kuwait. TSgt. Board was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 130th Airlift Wing at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in West Virginia.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
Pentagon identifies Air Guardsman who died in Kuwait
Airman Who Died in Kuwait in Non-Combat Incident Identified
WV Guard airman from Barboursville dies in Kuwait
West Virginia Air National Guard Airman Dies in Kuwait
Airman killed in Kuwait incident identified
US airman casualty in Kuwait identified as Tech. Sgt. David Board
National Guardsman from Barboursville who died in Middle East remembered fondly

Fort Hood Army Pfc. Brian Odiorne Died from a Non-Combat Related Incident in Al Anbar Province, Iraq; CID Ruled Death Suicide (2017)

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Pfc. Brian Odiorne, US Army

Pfc. Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army, died from a non-combat related incident in Al Anbar Province, Iraq on February 20, 2017. Pfc. Odiorne’s home of record is listed as Ware, Massachusetts and he joined the Army in October 2015. Pfc. Odiorne was a cannon crewmember supporting Operation Inherent Resolve and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. After an investigation was concluded, the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the death a suicide.

Related Links:
Pfc. Brian P. Odiorne
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Obituary: Pfc. Brian P. Odiorne
Fort Hood soldier dies in Iraq
Fort Hood Soldier from Massachusetts Dies in Iraq
Fort Hood soldier from Massachusetts dies in Iraq
Soldier who died in noncombat incident in Iraq identified
Pfc. Brian Odiorne, a Ware native, dies in Iraq
Brian Odiorne, soldier from Ware, dies in Iraq
Ware, Mass. Soldier Dies In Iraq In ‘Non-Combat’ Incident
Baker to family of Ware soldier: “I’m calling you as a dad”
Family, friends mourn death in Iraq of Army Pfc. Brian Odiorne of Ware
Ware selectmen request moment of silence to honor Army Pfc. Brian Odiorne, who died in Iraq
Body of PFC Brian Odiorne returned to western Massachusetts
Bishop Rozanski delivers homily at funeral of Brian Odiorne
US Army Pfc. Brian Patrick Odiorne laid to rest in Ware
Army Investigating After Soldier From Ware Dies In Iraq
Death of Mass. soldier in Iraq under investigation
Why are flags lowered today? March 4, 2017
Fort Hood soldier’s death in Iraq ruled a suicide
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

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.

Continue reading

Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

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*This research is not complete and includes combat deaths.

Fort Campbell is a United States Army installation located astride the Kentucky-Tennessee border between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The fort is named in honor of Union Army Brigadier General William Bowen Campbell, the last Whig Governor of Tennessee. -Wikipedia

2017:

Dillon Baldridge, US Army: Died in Apparent Insider Attack, Afghanistan
William Bays, US Army: Died in Apparent Insider Attack, Afghanistan
Isiah Booker, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Jordan
Eric Houck, US Army: Died in Apparent Insider Attack, Afghanistan

2016:

Dhaifal Ali, US Army: Death Ruled Accidental Drowning
Seth Brabant, US Army Veteran: Homicide Victim
Jeffrey Cooper, US Army: Non Combat Death, Vehicle Rollover, Kuwait
MarStratton Gordon, US Army: Homicide Victim
Kyle Heade, US Army: Charged with Theft/Attempted Homicide
Zachary James-Earl Ponder, US Army: Charged with Homicide
Matthew Lewellen, US Army: Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan
Shadow McClaine, US Army: Body Missing, Homicide
Kevin McEnroe, US Army: Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan
James Moriarty, US Army: Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan
Marcus Rogers, US Army: Failing to Follow Military Orders
Deashawn Thomas, US Army: Homicide/Suicide
Katelyn Thomas, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim

2015:

Zackery Alexander, US Army: Charged with Homicide
Joseph Bankston, US Army Dependent: Homicide Victim
John Dawson, US Army: Attacked by Small Arms Fire, Afghanistan
Liperial Easterling, US Army: Homicide Victim
Terrence Harwell, US Army: Homicide Victim
Cornell Hurley Jr, US Army: Homicide
Kevin Rodriguez, US Army: Preventable Training Accident Death
Chelcee Sine-Garza, US Army: Attempted Homicide Victim
Annely Turner, US Army Spouse: Attempted Homicide
Malcolm Turner, US Army: Attempted Homicide
David Wi, US Army: Charged with Homicide

2014:

Christian Martin, US Army (2014): Wrongfully convicted SoH Board Member

2012:

Robbie Knight, US Army: Homicide
Frederic Moses, US Army: Homicide Victim
Jeremy Priddy, Civilian: Homicide Victim
Nery Ruiz, US Army: Sexual Abuse/Sodomy of Child
Benjamin Schweitzer, US Army: Reckless Homicide

2011:

Michael Korolevich, US Army: Homicide
Kathleen McGee, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim

2010:

Linzi Jenks, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim
Robert Jenks III, US Army: Homicide

2009:

Ashley Barnes, US Army: Homicide Victim
Khaleefa Lambert, US Army: Homicide

2008:

Ryan Baumann, US Army: Vehicle encountered IED, Afghanistan
Tracy Birkman, US Army: Non Combat Death, Iraq
Donald Carwile, US Army: Vehicle struck IED, ambushed, Afghanistan
Jennifer Cole, US Army: Negligent Homicide, Iraq
Paul Conlon, Jr., US Army: Vehicle struck IED, ambushed, Afghanistan

2007:

Alicia Birchett, US Army: Non-Combat Related Vehicle Accident, Iraq
Brent Burke, US Army: Homicide
Tracy Burke, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim
Karen Comer, US Army Family: Homicide Victim

2006:

Steven Green, US Army: Rape/Homicide of Iraqi Civilian

2005:

LaVena Johnson, US Army: Death Ruled Suicide, Iraq

2003:

Hasan Akbar, US Army: Homicide, Death Sentence
Alyssa Peterson, US Army: Non-combat weapons discharge, Iraq

1999:

Barry Winchell, US Army: Homicide Victim

1996:

Laura Cecere, US Army: Homicide Victim
Max Roybal, US Army Spouse: Acquitted of Homicide

1994:

David Housler Jr, US Army: Homicide Conviction Overturned

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)