“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)

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

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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

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Calvin Aguilar Found Dead in Copperas Cove, Texas (August 4, 2016)

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Sgt. Calvin Aguilar, US Army

Army Sgt. Calvin Aguilar, 32, was found dead in Copperas Cove, Texas on August 4, 2016. Sgt. Aguilar’s home of record is listed as Hayward, California and he joined the Army in October 2006. Sgt. Aguilar was a working dog handler assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade at Fort Hood. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2007 to March 2009 and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from January 2012 to January 2013. He was married with one daughter and the proud owner of Nico, a military working dog he was reunited with. At the time of the Fort Hood press release, the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation.

Sgt. Aguilar was the kind of person you can only hope to encounter once in your life. He wore many hats: brother, friend, counselor, drinking buddy, designated driver, wingman, jokester. He was the calming presence in the midst of chaos. He had a sixth sense about it: he knew when you were off your game and he would do anything in his power to make you right again. –Obituary

“Retiring MWD Nico P432 (U.S. Army) is reunited with battle buddy SGT. Calvin Aguilar. After serving together in Afghanistan, they were apart for one year. Aguilar adopted Nico, and Mission K9 Rescue raised the funds for Nico to be shipped from Weisbaden, Germany to Texas.”

Related Links:
Obituary: Sgt. Calvin W. Aguilar
A canine’s farewell: Soldiers pay tribute to faithful working dog
It’s a dog’s life after Army retirement
It’s a dog’s life after Army retirement
‘Every one of them is a hero’: Group helps working dogs retire with dignity
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Fort Hood officials ID soldier found dead in Copperas Cove
Fort Hood announces death of a soldier in Cove
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead identified
Deceased Fort Hood Soldier Identified
Fort Hood military police sergeant found dead
Ft. Hood identifies Soldier found unresponsive last week
Army to investigate mistreatment claims by injured, ill soldiers at Fort Hood
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
Reunion of MWD Nico P432 and his former handler, Calvin Aguilar, together again (YouTube)

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Dougal Mitchell Died From Injuries Suffered in an Automobile Accident in Georgetown, Texas; Accident Claimed Two Lives (June 11, 2016)

Dougal Mitchell

Sgt. Dougal Mitchell, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Dougal Mitchell, 32, died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Georgetown, Texas on June 11, 2016. According to the Killeen Daily Herald, the automobile accident resulted in the death of two people. Sgt. Mitchell’s home of record is listed as Palmdale, California and he enlisted in the Army in September 2002. Sgt. Mitchell was a petroleum supply specialist with the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Sgt. Mitchell deployed five times: once to United Arab Emirates, three times to Kuwait, and once to Iraq. Sgt. Mitchell’s awards and decorations include two Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, four Army Good Conduct Medals, two Kuwait Defense Service Medals, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and five Overseas Service Ribbons.

Related Links:
Obituary: Sgt Dougal Mitchell
Greywolf Brigade honors SGT Dougal Mitchell
Fort Hood IDs soldier killed in car crash
Fort Hood identifies soldier killed auto accident
Fort Hood soldier dies after car accident in Georgetown
Fort Hood: Soldier dies of injuries from traffic accident
Dougal Mitchell died in a Georgetown, TX car accident
Sgt. Dougal Mitchell Killed in Georgetown, TX Accident
Details surface in June crash that killed 2
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)

Fort Hood Army Sgt. Duane Shaw III Found Unresponsive in Off-Post Killeen, Texas Home; 12th Reported Fatality in One Month (June 8, 2016)

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Sgt. Duane Shaw III, U.S. Army

Army Sgt. Duane Shaw III, 34, was taken to a hospital in nearby Temple, Texas where he was pronounced dead on June 8, 2016. Sgt. Shaw was found unresponsive at his off-post home in Killeen, Texas. Sgt. Shaw enlisted in the Army in December 2005 as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) specialist. He was assigned to the 8th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Sgt. Shaw deployed in support of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom; he earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, a Combat Action Badge and a Driver and Mechanic Badge with Wheeled Vehicle Bar, and other awards and decorations. Sgt. Shaw’s death was the third death reported in one week by Fort Hood officials. Decorated combat veteran SFC Antino Glass died in a fatal motorcycle crash on June 5th and Spc. Bernardino Guevara, Jr. was found dead with a gunshot wound on June 6th in a parking lot on post. Additionally, this was the 12th death reported in the month of June at Fort Hood. On June 2, 2016, nine service members died in a flood water training accident on post.

Related Links:
SGT Duane Cass Shaw, III | Find A Grave
Soldier re-enlists on Bridge of No Return
Soldier found unresponsive in Killeen identified
Fort Hood IDs soldier found dead in off-post home
Col. Andrew Poznick, One of Too Many Fort Hood
Soldier suicides: Causes studied in attempt to prevent future tragedies
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 SFC Antino Glass Died in a Fatal Motorcycle Accident After Hitting Livestock on Fort Hood in Texas (June 5, 2016)

Antino Glass

SFC Antino Glass, U.S. Army

Army SFC Antino Glass, 34, died on his way home from training duties on June 5, 2016 when his motorcycle struck livestock on Fort Hood in Texas. SFC Glass’ home of record is listed as New Orleans, Louisiana. He enlisted in the Army in 2002 and served with the 2nd Battalion, 291st Infantry Regiment at Fort Hood since 2015. He deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. SFC Glass earned the Purple Heart Medal, five Army Commendation Medals, the Combat Action Badge and the Driver and Mechanic Badge with Wheeled Vehicle Bar, and other honors and decorations.

Related Links:
Obituary: Antonio Michael Glass
Fort Hood IDs soldier killed in motorcycle wreck
Fort Hood Soldier Killed in Motorcycle Crash
Motorcyclist dead after hitting livestock on Fort Hood
Decorated Fort Hood soldier dies in motorcycle crash
Highly-decorated soldier named as motorcycle accident victim near Fort Hood
In Memory of U.S. Army SFC Antino Glass | Freedom Isn’t Free
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, Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Colonvazquez Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

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Staff Sgt. Miguel Colonvazquez, US Army

Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, whose home of record is listed as Brooklyn, New York, entered active-duty military service in July 2003 as a motor transport operator and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas since May 2011. Colonvazquez deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to September 2006 and in support of Operation New Dawn from May 2011 to November 2011. He also deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from March 2008 to May 2009 and from July 2013 to March 2014.

Colonvazquez’s awards and decorations include five Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, three Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Korea Defense Service Medals, Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Driver and Mechanic Badge with wheeled vehicle and Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Marksman with Carbine.

Learn more from III Corps and Fort Hood Facebook page here.

For more information: On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX):

Mr. Speaker, Texas has been hammered by historic torrential rain and flooding. As the Texas floodwaters rose, 12 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were crossing Owl Creek in a 21⁄2-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle when it became stuck in the Owl Creek low water crossing.

Suddenly, the vehicle was swept over and sent downstream by fast-moving water. Nine American soldiers drowned in the massive flood waters. Today, we remember them, and here they are: Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon Vazquez, 38, from New York.

He had just spent four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; Specialist Christine Armstrong, 27, of California; PFC Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida; PFC Zachery Fuller, 23, of Florida; Private Isaac Deleon, 19, of Texas. He was the youngest of all of them.

He had only been in the Army for 17 months; Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, of North Carolina—a former homecoming queen; Private Tysheena James, 21, of New Jersey; West Point cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, of Indiana; Specialist Yingming Sun, 25, of California. These are the nine who drowned recently in the Texas floods.

The soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. These American soldiers were volunteers who swore to protect the United States.

They were a cut above the rest and were ready to defend freedom at home and abroad. Their lives were ripped from this world and their families all too soon. We are grateful for them and their families for their service and their sacrifices.

These soldiers are the best of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and their families, who have been devastated by the floods of Texas this spring.

Related Links:
SSGT Miguel Angel Colonvazquez (1997-2016)
Flash flooding kills 9 | Fort Hood Sentinel
The Faces of the Fort Hood Tragedy
Profiles of the Fort Hood Soldiers Tragically Killed By Texas Flooding
Fort Hood Flood Victims: Photos to Remember the Fallen Soldiers
Fort Hood memorial held for drowned soldiers
Community mourns soldiers killed in accident
Killeen: Fort Hood soldier killed in training accident laid to rest
Fort Hood Soldier Killed in Training Accident Laid to Rest in Killeen
Soldier from Brooklyn among 9 dead at Fort Hood
Fort Hood soldiers from New York area killed in floods
Brooklyn and Jersey City soldiers among nine killed in risky Fort Hood training accident
2 Fort Hood soldiers who died in Texas floods are from tri-state
2 Local Residents Among Fort Hood Soldiers Killed In Texas Flooding
2 Local Residents Among 9 Fort Hood Soldiers Killed in Training Accident: Records
All Flags to Fly at Half-Staff Effective Today in Honor of Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon-Vazquez
Miguel Colon-Vazquez, Brooklyn soldier who drowned in Texas, honored with flags at half-staff
Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon-Vazquez
Fort Hood Soldier Laid to Rest
Funeral Services Held in Killeen for Fort Hood Soldier Killed in Training Accident
State troopers, Patriot Guard Riders escort Fort Hood soldier to local funeral home
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Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Brooklyn family of Fort Hood soldier killed speaks out
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1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
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Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly
Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Families continue to grieve one year after nine die in flooding on Fort Hood
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
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)
The Fort Hood Nine | Ted Poe | Medium
The Fort Hood, Texas, Nine | Congressman Ted Poe

Investigation:
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited in Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited In Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
Safety ‘Apathy’ Blamed in Accident at Texas’ Ft. Hood That Killed 9 US Soldiers
Army: Warning issued before 9 died in Fort Hood floodwaters
Army Issued Warning Before 9 Died in Fort Hood Floodwaters
Report: Fort Hood truck crash blamed on driver
NCO blamed for accident that killed nine soldiers at Fort Hood
Army blames staff sergeant for fatal Fort Hood truck accident
Fort Hood truck crash that killed 9 blamed on staff sergeant
Widow disputes investigation results blaming husband for Fort Hood accident
Army report on fatal Fort Hood training largely redacted
Herald asks Army to reveal investigation findings withheld from public
Reports still raise questions about Fort Hood accident two years later
Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the rollover accident, yet found at fault
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
2 years later: Survivor of fatal Fort Hood water training accident speaks out