Army Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz of Fort Riley, Kansas Found Dead from Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Inside Vehicle Parked on I-70 (2017)

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Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz, US Army

Army Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz, 30, was found deceased inside a vehicle parked on Interstate 70 on July 31, 2017. Staff Sgt. Franquiz was a section chief with Company B, 601st Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. Staff Sgt. Franquiz arrived at Fort Riley in October 2015 after having previously served at Fort Riley from December 2008 to August 2012. Staff Sgt. Franquiz deployed three times, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. An autopsy has determined the cause of death was suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Related Links:
Obituary: Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz
Fort Riley man found dead in vehicle
Man found dead in vehicle on I-70
Fort Riley man found dead in Geary County
Fort Riley man found dead in vehicle on I-70
Geary County authorities investigating death of man found in vehicle on Interstate 70
Fort Riley soldier died of self-inflicted gunshot wound
Fort Riley man found dead in Geary County ruled a suicide
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Riley, Kansas

Killeen PD: Army SSG Anthony Lovell Died of Injuries Sustained in Apparent Motorcycle Accident Along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas (2017)

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SSG Anthony Lovell, US Army

Army Staff Sergeant Anthony Lovell, 40, died of injuries sustained in an apparent motorcycle accident along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas on July 3, 2017. According to witnesses, SSG Lovell’s body was found in a mysteriously different location then the motorcycle. But the Killeen Police Department determined SSG Lovell was traveling south on 8th Street and failed to make a turn into a mobile home park in the area. Investigators claim SSG Lovell left the road, hit an embankment, and went airborne. Therefore, this accounted for the separation of the body and the motorcycle. And as a result, the accident caused multiple blunt force injuries.

“The motorcycle accident was around 8 p.m. on July 3. Lovell was going southbound in the 300 block of Eighth Street. Police say he failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway then went airborne and into Nolan Creek. The soldier suffered a fatal head injury and was pronounced dead at 8:38 p.m.” -Killeen PD

SSG Lovell was a resident of Killeen, Texas; he was stationed at Fort Hood in March 2015 as a cavalry scout assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. SSG Lovell joined the Army in September 1997 and deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 2007 to June 2008 and from September 2009 to August 2010. At the time of the Fort Hood press release, the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation by the Killeen Police Department.

Related Links:
Obituary: Anthony Ray Lovell
SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Chisolm’s Family Funeral Home
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Staff Sgt. Anthony Ray Lovell
Staff Sgt. Anthony Ray Lovell, 1st Cavalry Division | Fort Hood Sentinel
In Memory Of US Army SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Freedom Isn’t Free
Fort Hood identifies soldier who died after apparent motorcycle crash
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in motorcycle accident | Army Times
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in motorcycle accident | GD News
Body at Nolan Creek identified
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident
Man found dead by creek ID’d as Fort Hood soldier
Man found dead near creek identified as Fort Hood soldier
Fort Hood Soldier’s Body Found Near Creek
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident | WDAM-TV
Fort Hood soldier laid to rest, survived by wife and three children
Fort Hood soldier laid to rest, survived by wife and three children | KXXV-TV
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 (2016)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
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

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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, Non Combat Death & Suicide at United States Military Bases

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*Research not complete.

My experiences as a victim of crime in the United States military inspired me to do the work I do today as a military justice policy analyst. Not only did I witness first hand how a predator operates but I witnessed multiple predator types in real time while serving my country. If these people committed these acts of crimes at work in the civilian world, they would have been in jail or I would have been rich after taking my employer to civil court. Well maybe not because the deck is stacked against the accuser but we do in fact have a civilian justice system that allows us to hold others accountable, while it simultaneously protects the due process rights of the accused. This cannot be said of the military justice system. There is no guarantee a military Commander will do anything with a crime report let alone process the felony crime effectively. We do not want a justice system where one man or woman decides whether to do nothing, give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime, or railroad the accused or accuser. We do want a justice system where we can hold our employer accountable without roadblocks from the Pentagon, Congress, and the Feres Doctrine. We cannot effectively tackle the violent crime issue in the military until the victims of crimes, like sexual assault and domestic violence, feel safe enough to report. Crime victims have expressed that they do not want to report crimes to a Commander for fear of retaliation. The Department of Defense admitted that of those of who did report the crime, 62% perceived that they faced retaliation. If service members felt safe enough to report, it could help us prevent homicide, suicide, and non combat death.

If we think about violent crime committed by military personnel compared to violent crime statistics in the United States (reference above graph), at first glance it appears the military has a homicide ‘issue’ among the ranks. Please see the below links for a sample of crime on some of the U.S. military bases. All military bases worldwide will eventually be included in this research. And the research for sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and physical assault specifically has not been conducted yet either. Because the research is far from being complete, it is too early to make any assumptions so I will put the data in one place and let you come to your own conclusions. But if military crime mirrors civilian crime statistics, one can deduce that if the military has a lot of homicide, there is even more rape. Currently the number one concern in the military is a Commander’s ability to give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime. A Commander can bypass the courts martial process simply by punishing and/or discharging the accused with a preponderance of the evidence. This does nothing to protect our military personnel and the civilians who live near our bases in America and worldwide. Predators do not discriminate. They are just as likely to harm civilians as they are military personnel. They know their rights and they know that jurisdiction issues and lack of communication among law enforcement agencies will help prolong getting caught. We need to be one step ahead.

We can’t get real violent crime numbers for the military bases unless we include those who died of non combat deaths while they were deployed. Veterans Noonie Fortin and Ann Wright inspired me to initially look into the non combat deaths of female soldiers overseas because they observed the unusually high number of female soldiers who died of non combat deaths during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their chief concern was that although the military labels a non combat death as a suicide, there are suspicions that some female soldiers were murdered, like LaVena Johnson, Amy Tirador, and Ciara Durkin. I did the research on every single female soldier who died from non combat deaths overseas and their concerns are valid. My research on non combat deaths in Iraq alone revealed that roughly 30% of female soldiers died as a result of homicide, suicide, and other unknown causes. I am working on collecting the data for male soldiers who died from non combat related injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas. I started with 2010 so we can get the most recent cases but I will go back to September 11, 2001 in the next phase of data collection. The first male soldier non combat death case I found in 2010 was an unsolved homicide. His name was SSG Anton Phillips and he was stabbed to death in Afghanistan. Further research in this area has uncovered that non combat deaths of male soldiers are just as prevalent.

Learn more:
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Violent Crime at Fort Wainwright, Alaska (US Army)
Violent Crime at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits
Rep Nikki Tsongas & Rep Mike Turner Host Educational Caucus: Improving Treatment Resources for Male Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
An Open Letter to the Senate and House of Representatives in Support of the Military Justice Improvement Act
Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights

The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth

What happened to LaVena Lynn Johnson and so many others speaks to a Pentagon culture which more closely resembles a rogue government–than a legitimate branch serving under civilian control. It is highly telling that this family, along with the Tillman family each had to have a documentary film made JUST TO ALERT THE PUBLIC TO THE TRUTH OF PENTAGON COVER-UPS. I urge everyone to view this important documentary–before the local military recruiter mandated under No Child Left Behind–‘friends’ their child at school. God forbid, they could wind up coming home in a body bag–like LaVena. –Truthout

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, US Army

Learn more:
The Silent Truth on YouTube
The Silent Truth on Amazon Video
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Autopsy Report Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
The Silent Truth Documentary aka The LaVena Johnson Murder Cover-Up
What Really Happened to Pat Tillman?
Pat Tillman: The US Army Murder Scandal

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)

Fort Hood Military Police Sgt. Calvin Aguilar, US Army, Found Dead in Copperas Cove, Texas (2016)

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Sgt. Calvin Aguilar, US Army

Sgt. Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army, 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

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)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

“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.”

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)

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
Graveside service and burial for Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colon Vasquez
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Brooklyn family of Fort Hood soldier killed speaks out
Fallen soldiers honored with flowers on Fort Hood
1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
9 remembered on anniversary of deaths
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)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
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

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.

Fort Hood Army Soldier Sgt. John Stobbe Found Dead at Off-Post Residence in Killeen, Texas (May 1, 2016)

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Sgt. John Stobbe, US Army

Army Sgt. John ‘Drew’ Stobbe, 31, was found dead at his off-post residence on May 1, 2016 in Killeen, Texas. At the time of reporting, the Army indicated the incident was under investigation. Sgt. Stobbe’s home of record is listed as Beaverton, Oregon; he joined the Army in September 2004. Sgt. Stobbe was an M1 armor crewman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. He deployed three times to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn: December 2005 to November 2006, June 2008 to May 2009, and September 2010 to August 2011. The circumstances surrounding his death and official cause of death are unknown.

He was a proud and capable Sergeant in the US Army, serving his country for over 11 years. Trained as a tanker, Drew loved the power and maneuverability of the M1-A2 Abrams tanks. He was a skillful instructor and respected leader of his crews. His service included three tours in Iraq and foreign posts in Germany and South Korea. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas at the time of his death. His abrupt and unforeseen death will not define Drew’s life or memory. While he left us all too early for reasons that elude our understanding, he knows the peace and love of our savior, Jesus Christ. In a very real sense, Drew was always ‘public property’ a child, boy, and man who loved all and was beloved by all. –Obituary

Related Link:
Obituary: John Andrew “Drew” Stobbe
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Beaverton Soldier Found Dead
Fort Hood identifies soldier found dead off-post
Fort Hood soldier found dead in Killeen identified
Highly decorated Beaverton soldier found dead
Beaverton soldier found unresponsive in his Texas home, cause of death unknown
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 Soldier SSG Steven Lewis Died of Self Inflicted Wound at Off-Post Residence in Killeen, Texas (2016)

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Staff Sgt. Steven Lewis, US Army

Army Staff Sgt. Steven Lewis, 33, was found dead in his off-post residence in Killeen, Texas on March 22, 2016. According to reports, the Killeen police department said Lewis’ wound was self-inflicted. He was working as an intelligence specialist and assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. Lewis deployed to Iraq twice from November 2008 to September 2009 and again from December 2010 to October 2011. His home of record was Tulare, California. He first joined the Navy in 2002 and later joined the Army in 2007; he had been stationed at Fort Hood since 2013.

Related Links:
Fort Hood Press Center: SSG Steven D. Lewis
Fort Hood soldier found dead at home in Killeen
Fort Hood identifies soldier found dead off-post
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in off-post residence identified
Ft Hood soldier found dead, unresponsive in off post home
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook