Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017

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  1. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
  2. Navy Veteran Richard Uffelman & Two Children Opened Fire and Killed Neighbors Michael and Florence Phillips in Maine, Richard Sentenced to Life in Prison (1989)
  3. Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (1994)
  4. Navy Wife Dina Kichler Raped & Murdered in Mayport, Florida by John Brewer Shortly After her Husband Deployed for Six Months on USS Forestall (1990)
  5. Joseph Snodgrass, US Air Force, Hired Hitmen to Murder Wife Julie at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines for the $400,000 Life Insurance Payout (1991)
  6. Fort Bliss Army Commander Captain Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger and His Brother Rodney for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  7. A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal
  8. Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Nevada Escort for Money and 1975 Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (1991)
  9. Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi Double Crossed & Murdered by Husband Eddie who Came Up with a Better Plan Yielding him $700,000 in Life Insurance (1996)
  10. Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Poisoned with Animal Medications by Veterinarian Wife, Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to First Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (2005)

Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)

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Jennifer Norris, USAF Retired (medical), Onyx, Senator Angus King (Maine), Stephanie Brewer, USMC Retired (medical), and Chinook | December 13, 2017

Military justice policy analyst Jennifer Norris was invited to speak in the Gold Room at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. on December 12, 2017. The veterans organization she accompanied provided her with fifteen minutes to present and she chose to speak about the current troubling status of the Fort Hood Army post near Killeen, Texas. She also shared the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers. Marine veteran Stephanie Brewer was in attendance and assisted Jennifer with the presentation of the material. Stephanie created a powerpoint presentation to help the audience see these soldier’s faces and remind them that they matter and their families love them. After the presentation, they visited Senator John McCain’s office (Chair, Senate Armed Services Committee), Representative Mac Thornberry’s Office (Chair, House Armed Services Committee), Senator Ted Cruz’s Office (supports the Military Justice Improvement Act), Senator Susan Collin’s Office (supports the MJIA), and finally Senator Angus King’s Office (who has consistently voted against the MJIA). While attending a constituent’s coffee event at Senator King’s office, these veterans inquired about the status of the retaliation law’s promised by Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. The response:

I wanted to follow up on our meeting yesterday by forwarding some information about efforts to prevent retaliation against servicemembers who report crimes.

The first important step is gathering data on retaliation so that leadership can best figure out how to address the issue. The DOD includes statistics on retaliation in its annual reports on sexual assault and reporting. They recently changed the way that they gather the data so that they can get a more accurate picture of which servicemembers experience the type of behavior that qualifies legally as retaliation under the UCMJ. As I mentioned yesterday, the data doesn’t go back very far- the DOD has only been collecting this information for a year. As the database grows, so will the DOD’s understanding of the real scope and nature of the problem. This should help target solutions.

A number of lawmakers are really committed to addressing this problem, as well. Senator McCaskill from Missouri introduced a bill last year that aimed to prevent military retaliation. Senator King cosponsored the bill. A summary is available here.

The bill didn’t move out of committee, so Senator McCaskill or another member might try to reintroduce it later. Another possibility is that next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could include similar language.

-Senator Angus King’s Office

These veterans were successful at setting up times to meet with defense fellows at Thornberry, Collins, and King’s offices. They also stopped into Senator McCain’s office to get the scheduling contact information for him because he consistently does not get back to one. They gave the same Fort Hood presentation to the defense fellows as the one they gave in the Gold Room except this time they had more time to discuss each individual. If it was up to these veterans, they would sit there all day and talk about every single soldier because all their lives matter. Overall, they report the active duty fellows they met with were receptive. They illustrated that the common theme with the four soldiers discussed is involvement in the military justice system in one way or another. The following presentation helps you get an understanding of the issues at bases nationwide by telling you the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers and their experiences in the last couple of years. All had mental health issues and three are dead. The other soldier is in federal prison for eighteen months for a threatening phone call he made to Fort Hood. This incident occurred after he was exonerated of a crime and released from a military prison yet stonewalled and dismissed when he asked about his backpay.

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Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood

Last time I was in DC in September 2016, I provided my Senator with military policy recommendations that would benefit families who doubt a cause of death ruling. I highlighted a need for compassionate care for families, independent investigations, and cold case squads in the Army and the Air Force, much like the NCIS Cold Case Squad. Sadly it appears the military has a history of ruling what looks like a homicide as a suicide. One of the most publicized examples is that of Pfc. LaVena Johnson. The Army ruled LaVena’s death a suicide but an independent autopsy revealed she was raped and murdered. To this day, the Army will not cooperate with the family of LaVena Johnson who has begged them to find their daughter’s killer. The alarming stateside death rate at Fort Hood alone only strengthens the resolve to continue asking for mental health and criminal justice reform in the military.

73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide

“Simple enough answer, between incompetent leaders, the drugs, the gang bangers, poor units, ghetto neighborhoods, poor quality soldiers, and just being in Texas, this place is where souls go to die… Hood kills you on the inside. The outside follows shortly afterwards..” -Anonymous

Fact: In the last two years, more soldiers at Fort Hood died stateside than overseas. The six non combat deaths that occurred overseas were insider attacks (4) and death ruled suicide by the Army CID (2). The following numbers are the specifics at Fort Hood in Texas since January 2016.

73 deaths at Fort Hood since January 1, 2016. 

  • As of August 2017, 9,300 soldiers from Fort Hood were currently deployed across the globe, this is more than a 1/4 of the 35,000 troops stationed there
  • Average age of death is 28 years old
  • Average 1.5 suspected suicides per month since January 2016
  • 6 overseas deaths to include 4 insider attacks and 2 suicides
  • 67 stateside deaths to include 34 alleged suicides (13 soldiers had no known deployments; 21 soldiers had deployed to Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan)
  • 1 unsolved homicide in Killeen, Texas (Justin Lewis)
  • 11 died in training accidents, 9 died in one training incident

6 OVERSEAS DEATHS

4 insider attacks, Afghanistan; 2 non combat deaths, Iraq & Korea

10/20/16: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed and shot to death by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform); 11/12/16: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s day fun run, Afghanistan); 11/12/16: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 12/06/16: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (succumbed to injuries, suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 02/21/17: Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Iraq); 08/02/17: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Korea)

67 STATESIDE DEATHS

3 homicides off base

01/05/16: Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, Alabama; Charleston Wells, 16, Ahmad Johnson, 18, Darrian Bryant, 16, and De’Ron Lucas, 19, charged with murder; Wells found not guilty); 04/17/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot & killed near vacant lot in neighborhood near post in Killeen, Texas; unsolved homicide); 05/05/17: Travis Granger, 29, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, 27 year old Keith Marinnie charged with murder)


A Fort Hood soldier spoke candidly about what they say the reality of living on the Texas military base is like. (2014) –CNN

13 found dead on post

01/03/16: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (missing, found dead at on-post recreation area, Army CID ruled death suicide); 06/06/16: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (gunshot wound, Sportsmen’s Center); 07/12/16: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead near BLORA paintball court); 08/19/16: Dion Servant, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks); 09/13/16: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence); 12/24/16: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead at base housing, death ruled suicide by Army CID); 01/11/17: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at place of duty on post); 01/12/17: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks room on post); 02/05/17: Steven Hines, 29, US Army (CID Agent found dead behind office building of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, death ruled suicide); 02/27/17: Andre Nance, 34, US Army (found dead at Fort Rucker, Alabama hotel); 04/07/17: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room); 07/11/17: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post residence); 10/12/17: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post)

21 found dead off post

01/16/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (military officer found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nolanville apartment, death ruled suicide); 03/14/16: Brian Reed, 40, US Army (gunshot wound, Copperas Cove residence); 03/20/16: Andrew Poznick, 45, US Army (military officer found dead at off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, death ruled suicide); 03/20/16: Steven Lewis, 33, US Army (self-inflicted wound, off-post residence, Killeen); 05/01/16: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post residence, Killeen); 05/23/16: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (death ruled suicide at Bell County jail); 06/10/16: Duane Shaw III, 34, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post home, Temple); 08/04/16: Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army (found unresponsive in Copperas Cove, Texas); 09/17/16: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post in Killeen); 10/07/16: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death ruled suicide, Copperas Cove, Texas); 10/15/16: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence); 11/16/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana); 11/18/16: Korey James, 21, US Army (death ruled suicide at off post residence, Killeen); 11/26/16: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (self-inflicted gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 01/02/17: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died from gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 02/06/17: Christie Anderson, 44, US Army (found dead at off post residence, Killeen); 05/14/17: Jon Bullard, 40, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Belton, Texas); 06/15/17: Devon Tucker, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove); 07/26/17: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia); 10/14/17: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen); 10/18/17: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)

11 died in training accidents

06/02/16: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident); 02/17/17: Michael Garcia, 29, US Army (died in vehicle training accident); 09/12/17: Sean Devoy, 28, US Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training)

3 died from unspecified medical issues

11/10/16: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness); 01/01/17: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died after complications from short illness); 10/05/17: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)

7 died in motorcycle accidents

05/09/16: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (rear ended a van in Killeen, Texas); 06/05/16: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (struck livestock on Fort Hood); 08/01/16: Logan Rainwater, 24, US Army (SUV turned in front of him in Killeen); 09/09/16: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (slammed into minivan, eluding Killeen PD); 03/26/17: Jonathan Garcia, 29, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, for reasons unclear, bike lost control on curve, veered off road, & struck cable barrier); 07/03/17: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, went airborne into creek in Killeen); 07/14/17: James Smith, 24, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, lost control of bike on I-35 in Temple)

4 died in automobile accidents

03/06/16: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army (fatal auto collision with truck on I-35; driver & Fort Hood soldier Timothy Corder charged with intoxication manslaughter); 06/11/16: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (driving the wrong way on State Highway 195, vehicle collided with another driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23, who died at scene); 11/03/16: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (missing for 3 weeks, fatal auto accident on post that occurred night he went missing, family wants missing ‘Warrior Alert’ law); 01/07/17: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash on South Range Road at Fort Hood)

4 died unexpectedly

04/16/17: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Temple Lake Park); 10/14/17: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming, Mansfield); 02/18/17: Sean Callahan, 31, US Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa); 04/11/17: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)

1 self inflicted & officer involved shooting

10/12/17: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (accused of sex crime; command directed ‘wellness check’ initiated 1 month before trial; shot at by police but died of self inflicted gunshot wound after high speed car chase)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, US Army

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)

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 at the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Family contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Alva was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on MSG Gwinn who was located in his car. MSG Gwinn then lead police on a high speed car chase after they attempted to approach him. MSG Gwinn’s home of record is listed as Richwood, West Virginia. He entered active-duty military service in September 1999 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012.

According to reports, Alva fled on foot after the high speed chase with police. He shot at the police at least once and they fired back but in the end he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In June 2016, Alva Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 2012. Alva was scheduled to go to trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge in November 2017. Alva Gwinn had served in the Army for twelve years and was a highly decorated combat veteran known for being a perfectionist. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served in the US Army.

Areas of Concern:

  • In October 2017, the Fort Hood chain of command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on Alva Gwinn; family reported he was suffering what appeared to be a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal
  • The police located Alva in his car but he took off when approached and then lead the police on a high speed car chase that ended with Alva fatally shooting himself
  • How can we prevent a ‘wellness check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why the high speed car chase?
  • Alva was facing an aggravated sexual assault trial in November 2017
  • Whether guilty or innocent, this is a tragic end for a man accused of a crime
  • What does the Army do with the accused who are awaiting criminal trial?
  • Is Fort Hood responsible for the mental health of those accused of crimes?

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Pfc. Thomas Chestnut, US Army

Wrongful Conviction: Fort Hood Army Soldier Thomas Chestnut’s Guilty Verdict was Overturned by the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals (December 14, 2016)

Fort Hood Army soldier Thomas Chestnut, 28, was freed from a Kansas military prison on December 23, 2016 after an appellate court overturned a guilty verdict on December 14, 2016. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction finding evidence in the case as “factually insufficient.” The case stems from an accusation by a third party of a sexual assault of a man in August 2012 at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas. Chestnut was charged and found guilty by a military jury on one count of sexual assault and found not guilty of one specification of assault consummated by a battery. Chestnut testified that the encounter with the other soldier was consensual and the third party was trying to deflect attention from himself. Chestnut was sentenced on July 2, 2014 to three years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, a reduction in rank to private, and forfeiture of all pay. After Thomas Chestnut was exonerated, he was entitled to back pay and an honorable discharge from the military when he completed his time in service. Thomas was honorably discharged from the Army in January 2017 but had not yet been able to get his back pay. Thomas shared his thoughts on his wrongful conviction and his two and a half year imprisonment in mostly solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t commit.

“How could I respect the authority of such a corrupt system and such a corrupt institution? Not after what they did to me, to us, as I am not alone in this you see. Hundreds of my fellow veterans have also been falsely accused and forced into prison. Obviously, the military leadership lacks the maturity and ethics to handle sexual assault cases in a balanced adult way. They should not have authority in these matters.” via Save Our Heroes

Thomas Chestnut spent 2 1/2 years in prison where he was placed in solitary confinement and allegedly abused by prison guards. Thomas admits the prejudiced military justice system, corruption, and prison experience traumatized him. He most likely suffers from a form of institutional abuse. In December 2016, the appeals court overturned his conviction, he was cleared of all charges, released from prison, and promised back pay. Thomas stated: “I have nothing. No place of my own, no car, and little money. The Army has no plan for someone with a case overturned, so I’ve been more or less thrown out on the street.” Thomas Chestnut most likely has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the betrayal by the military justice system and the abuse he endured in prison marked as a man who rapes other men. In February 2017, Chestnut attempted to get his back pay from the Army as he had nothing, no job, no place to live, no means to take care of himself. The Army didn’t help him or give him the answers he deserved when it came to his backpay.

At this point, Thomas most likely had a post traumatic stress meltdown simply from having to deal with the same institution that wrongfully convicted him of a crime. After he didn’t get the answers he deserved regarding his back pay, he got angry and threatened to harm individuals at Fort Hood. As a result, Chestnut was arrested by FBI agents and charged with making threats to kill individuals at Fort Hood. Thomas has been in federal custody ever since he made the threats and now the life that he may have had a second chance at was taken away from him again. Obviously, Thomas shouldn’t have threatened to kill individuals at Ft Hood but the backpay issue and the fact he has PTSD should have been a mitigating factor in this case. For example, the state of destitution he was in and his legitimate need for money to sustain and take care of himself most likely triggered his post traumatic stress symptoms. He was desperate and the Army’s indifference and stonewalling most likely caused an already emotionally fragile man to disassociate and lash out. If he was within the state’s jurisdiction, chances are he would have access to a veteran’s court that would fight to give him another chance. Instead, Thomas Chestnut is in federal prison for 18 months for one threatening phone call.

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Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

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

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

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Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016)

Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.

Background:

Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”

Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.

image1The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.

On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.

Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.

What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.

How does the family get justice for Paige?

Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)

Related Links:
Army Veteran Tomas Young Dies at 34; Shot & Paralyzed on Black Sunday in 2004 on Peace Keeping Mission with Fort Hood in Sadr City, Iraq (2014)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
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 Pfc LaVena Johnson of Fort Campbell Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Family seeks answers after NC soldier Justin Lewis slain in Texas
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

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)

briles

Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army

Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.

*************************************************

Background:

Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”

Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.

image1The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.

On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.

Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.

What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.

How does the family get justice for Paige?

Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)

Related Links:
Fort Hood soldier found dead on post on Christmas Eve
Fort Hood soldier found dead identified as Kaplan woman
Fort Hood officials announce death of a soldier
Death of 21-year-old Fort Hood soldier under investigation
Fort Hood: Death of soldier on Christmas Eve under investigation
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
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

Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)

Fort Hood is a U.S. military post located in Killeen, Texas. The post is named after Confederate General John Bell Hood. It is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles (100 km) from each, within the U.S. state of Texas. -Wikipedia

*Research not complete and includes combat deaths.

Please help us honor The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook.

2018:
Mark Boner, Indiana Army NG: ‘It’s unclear at this time what led to his death’
Javion Sullivan, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Iraq

2017:
David Ananou, US Army: Death by apparent drowning at Belton Lake
Christie Anderson, US Army: Found dead at off-post residence
Randal Anderson, US Army: Died of gunshot wound off-post
Angel BenitezQuinones, US Army: Found unresponsive on post
Jon Bullard, US Army: Found dead at off post home in Temple
Sean Callahan, US Army: Passed away unexpectedly in Iowa
Sameer Chalise, US Army: Died due to injuries while swimming
Jonathon Charlot, US Army: Victim of Hate Crime, Vandalizing
Sean Devoy, US Army: Died in fall during helicopter hoist training
Jonathan Garcia, US Army: Fatal motorcycle accident
Michael Garcia, US Army: Died in vehicle training Incident
Travis Granger, US Army Veteran: Gunshot wound, death ruled homicide
Alva Gwinn, US Army: Shot self during high pursuit with police after accused of sex crimes
John Hatfield, US Army: Died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen
Steven Hines, US Army: CID Agent found dead behind building
Justin Lewis, US Army: Shot to death in Killeen, unsolved homicide
Anthony Lovell, US Army: Death ruled fatal motorcycle accident
Deangelo Mathis, US Army: Found unresponsive in Georgia
Zachary Moore, US Army: found unresponsive in barracks room, Korea
Andre Nance US Army: Found dead on post at Fort Rucker, Alabama
Brian Odiorne, US Army: Non Combat Death Ruled Suicide by CID
Justen Ogden, US Army: Found unresponsive at on post home
Zackary Partin, US Army: Found dead at on-post residence
James Smith, US Army: Fatal motorcycle accident off post
Devon Tucker, US Army: Found dead at off post home in Copperas Cove
Barron Von Reichelt, US Army: Died in fatal auto accident on post
Alex Taylor, US Army: Found dead at place of duty on post
Luke Toomey, US Army: Found unresponsive at off-post residence, Copperas Cove
Derrick Walker, US Army: Died of a long-term illness
Daniel Wildeman, US Army: Found dead on post in barracks
Kai Yancey, US Army: Died after complications from short illness

2016:
Bradley Acker, US Army: Death was self-inflicted at off-post residence
Calvin Aguilar, US Army: Found Dead off post in Copperas Cove
Anthony Antell Jr, USMC Vet: Victim of Homicide
Christine Armstrong, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Douglas Bailey, US Army: Found dead at off post residence
Brandon Banner, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Nathan Berg, US Army: Died of gunshot wound off post
Ricci Bradden, US Army: Homicide of USMC veteran
Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army: Found dead in vehicle at post housing
Allan Brown, US Army: Died in suicide bombing, Afghanistan
Wanya Bruns, US Army: Died of gunshot wound off post
Thomas Chestnut, US Army: 2014 sexual assault conviction overturned
Miguel Colonvazquez, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Timothy Corder, Civilian: Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter of Soldier
Isaac Deleon, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Zachery Fuller, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Eddy Gates, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Jonathan ‘Mike Gilotti, US Army Veteran: Homicide, Alabama
Antino Glass, US Army: Died from motorcycle accident on post
Bernardino Guevara Jr., US Army: Died of gunshot wound on post
Stacy Hardy, US Army: Died from motorcycle crash while eluding police
Andrew Hunt, US Army: Found dead at on-post residence
Tyler Iubelt, US Army: Died in suicide bombing on secure base in Afghanistan
Korey James, US Army: Found Dead at Off Post Residence
Tysheena James, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Alexander Johnson, US Army: Found Dead at BLORA on Post
Steven Lewis, US Army: Died of self-inflicted wound off post
Dougal Mitchell, US Army: Fatal automobile accident off post
Daniel Monibe, US Army: Died of illness off post
Marcus Nelson, US Army: Died while in custody at local jail
Kevin Paulino, US Army: Self inflicted gunshot wound, Indiana
John Perry, US Army: Died in suicide bombing on secure base in Afghanistan
Andrew Poznick, US Army: Found dead in off-post residence in Pennsylvania
Logan Rainwater, US Army: Fatal motorcycle accident off post
Ellsworth Raup, US Army: Fatal motorcycle accident off post
Brian Reed, US Army: Found dead of gunshot wound at off-post residence
Douglas Riney, US Army: Killed by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform
Devin Schuette, US Army: Found dead inside vehicle at BLORA on post
Dion Servant, US Army: Found dead in barracks on post
Duane Shaw, US Army: Found dead at off-post residence
John Stobbe, US Army: Found dead at off post residence
Dakota Stump, US Army: Died as a result of a vehicle accident on post
Yingming Sun, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident
Sean Van Der Wal, US Army: Intoxicated soldier killed him in vehicle crash
Troy Wayman, US Army: Officer found dead off post
Mitchell Winey, US Army: Died in Floodwaters Training Accident

2015:
Victor Badilloalvarez, US Army: Died in physical altercation, Florida
Elvis Bingham, US Army: Gunshot wound at off-post residence
Casey Chapman, US Army: Found dead at a training area on post
Toby Childers, US Army: Died in Black Hawk Training Crash
Cecelia Cole, US Army: Gunshot wound at off-post residence
Stephen Cooley, US Army: Died in Black Hawk Training Crash
Robert Jones Jr., US Army: Died in Drowning Accident near Post
Kevin Lewis, US Army: Self-inflicted gunshot wound off post
Dillon Mitchell, US Army: Gunshot wound at on-post residence
Jason Smith, US Army: Died in Black Hawk Training Crash
Robert Snear, US Army: Found dead in barracks on post
Kendrick Sneed, US Army: Found dead in off-post residence
Michael Tharp, US Army: Died in Black Hawk Training Crash
Brian Wilkerson, US Army: Found dead in on-post residence
Gene Brandes, US Army: Found dead in barracks

2014:
Leila Ezzeddine, US Army Dependent: Homicide Victim
Rouhad Ezzeddine, US Army Spouse: Murder-Suicide on Post
Zeinab Ezzeddine, US Army Dependent: Homicide Victim
Danny Ferguson, US Army: Homicide Victim on Post
Donnell Hamilton, US Army: Died from Illness, Afghanistan
Triston Johnson, US Army: Gunshot wound off post
Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, US Army: Homicide Victim on Post
Ivan Lopez, US Army: Homicide, Attempted Homicide, Suicide
Wyatt Martin, US Army: Enemy Attacked Vehicle with IED, Afghanistan
Ramon Morris, US Army: Enemy Attacked Vehicle with IED, Afghanistan
Christopher Mulalley, US Army: Non Combat Related Incident, Afghanistan
Timothy Owens, US Army: Homicide Victim on Post
Gage Schellin, US Army: Gunshot wound at off post residence

2013:
Lisa Salzman, US Army: Found dead in barracks on post
Jose Suarez, US Army: Found dead in barracks on post
Jason Togi, US Army: Enemy attacked vehicle with IED, Afghanistan

2012:
Kevin Hardin, US Army Veteran: Found dead in his home, medical

2011:
Michael Bailey II, US Army: Death Ruled Suicide, Family Believes Murder
Michael Reese, US Army: Homicide, Sentenced to Life in Prison
Justin Richardson, US Army: Homicide Victim

2010:
Jesse Franklin, US Army Spouse: Homicide Victim
Michael Franklin, US Army: Murder-Suicide on Post
Kemper Jones, US Army: Found dead in off post residence
Alexis Maldonado, US Army: Insurgents attacked unit, Afghanistan

2009:
Michael Cahill, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
L. Eduardo Caraveo, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Justin DeCrow, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Joseph Fortin, US Army: Enemy forces attacked vehicle with IED, Iraq
John Gaffaney, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Frederick Greene, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Nidal Hasan, US Army: Homicide, Terrorism, Sentenced to Death
Matthew Hastings, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Iraq
Jason Hunt, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Amy Krueger, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Aaron Nemelka, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Michael Pearson, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Johnny Polk, US Army: Vehicle struck by an anti-tank grenade, Iraq
Jeffrey Reed, US Army: Vehicle struck by anti-tank grenade, Iraq
Russell Seager, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Francheska Velez, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Jaunita Warman, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim
Kham Xiong, US Army: Nidal Hasan Homicide Victim

2008:
David Badie, US Army: Vehicle encountered IED, Afghanistan
Seteria Brown, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Afghanistan
Justin Buxbaum, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Afghanistan
David Cooper, US Army: Dismounted patrol came under fire, Iraq
Jair De Jesus Garcia, US Army: Vehicle encountered IED, Afghanistan
Michael Girdano, US Army: Vehicle encountered IED, Afghanistan
Charles Leonard, Jr., US Army: vehicle struck by rocket propelled grenade, Iraq
Bryan Lounsbury, US Army: Fatal automobile accident off post
John Mattox, US Army: Non-Combat Related Incident, Afghanistan
Andre Mitchell, US Army: Fatal Vehicle Accident, Iraq
Keisha Morgan, US Army: Non Combat Related Causes, Iraq
William Mulvihill, US Army: Vehicle encountered IED, Afghanistan
David Paquet, US Army: Undetermined Causes on Patrol, Afghanistan
Kristopher Rodgers, US Army:  IED detonated near vehicle, Afghanistan

2007:
Kamisha Block, US Army: Homicide Victim, Iraq
Edward Cardenas, US Army: Died of wounds from IED, Iraq
Donald Gower, US Army: Homicide, Sentenced to Life
Marisol Heredia, US Army: Non combat related injury, Iraq
Christine Ndururi, US Army: Non combat related illness, Kuwait
Paul Norris, US Army: Homicide-Suicide, Iraq
Princess Samuels, US Army: Indirect fire from enemy, Iraq
Lawrence Sprader, US Army: Negligent Training Death
Omar Torres, US Army: Died of wounds from IED, Iraq
Zandra Walker, US Army: Indirect fire from enemy, Iraq
Donald Young, US Army: Died of wounds from IED, Iraq

2006:
Christopher Blaney, US Army: Non combat related incident, Iraq
Marcus Cain, US Army: Died when vehicle-borne IED detonated nearby, Iraq
Jeannette Dunn, US Army: Non combat related injury, Iraq
David Gordon, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Cesar Granados, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Jennifer Hartman, US Army: Died when vehicle-borne IED detonated nearby, Iraq
Moises Jazmin, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Qixing Lee, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
James Lyons, US Army: Died during combat operations, Iraq
Russell Makowski, US Army: Died when IED detonated during combat ops, Iraq
Luis Montes, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Shaun Novak, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Henry Paul, US Army: Died from injuries when vehicle rolled over, Iraq
Emily Perez, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Tina Priest, US Army: Non combat related incident, Iraq
Jared Raymond, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Edward Reynolds Jr, US Army: Died from injuries when vehicle rolled over, Iraq
Windell Simmons, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Tristan Smith, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Clint Williams, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq

2004:
Erin Edwards, US Army: Homicide Victim
William Edwards, US Army: Homicide, Suicide
Tommy Gray, US Army: Caught between 2 motor pool vehicles, Iraq
David Potter, US Army: Non combat related injuries, Iraq

2003:
Matthew Bush, US Army: Soldier tried to wake up but wasn’t breathing, Iraq
David Williams, US Army: Downed Apache Aircraft, POW, Rescued by USMC
Ronald Young, Jr., US Army: Downed Apache Aircraft, POW, Rescued by USMC

1998:
Gary Prokop, US Army: Homicide Victim

1988:
Christopher Fay, US Army: Robbery & Homicide Victim
Howard Harrison, Civilian: Attempted Robbery
Dwight Loving, US Army: Robbery & Homicide, Death Sentence Commuted
Bobby Sharbino, US Army Retired: Robbery & Homicide Victim

Related Links:
DOD Releases Final Fort Hood Review (2010)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2009)
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)
U.S. Apache pilots taken prisoner
Marines rescue seven U.S. prisoners of war
Former POWs Tell Their Story | 60 Minutes

Army Sgt. Okan Cetinbag Found Dead at Home With Gunshot Wound to Face on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska; Mother Wants Answers (2014)

image

Okan Murat Cetinbag, US Army

Sgt. Okan Cetinbag, 24, of Morton Grove, Illinois died on February 11, 2014 from gunshot injuries sustained on February 7th at his home on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Sgt. Cetinbag was an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment. He joined the Army in January 2013, attended basic and airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia and arrived in Alaska in June 2013. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps, including a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2010, before joining the Army. The Army reported they were investigating the case but did not appear to be cooperating with the mother of Sgt. Cetinbag who has been questioning what happened to her son. Media reports indicate that Sgt. Cetinbag was one of four servicemen from JBER found dead this month: SrA Katrina Jackson on February 15; and SSgt. Darian Miller on February 18; and SSgt. Samuel Davis on February 23.

Related Links:
JBER soldier dies due to injuries
Soldier from Chicago area dies on base in Alaska
Army probes death of Alaska-based soldier
Army probes death of soldier at JBER
Army Probes Death Of Alaska-Based Soldier From Chicago Area
Soldier’s fatal injuries at JBER home being investigated
JBER Soldier’s Fatal Home Injuries Under Investigation
US Army Investigating Death of Morton Grove Soldier Sgt. Okan Murat Cetinbag
Army investigating mysterious death of soldier found unconscious at home just minutes after kissing his wife and daughter goodbye for a night out with his colleagues
‘There is a cover-up’: Mother of Army soldier who died after being shot in the face at home he shared with his wife and six other colleagues claims authorities are hiding something
Soldier’s death marks fourth JBER fatality in a month
JBER airman’s passing marks fourth death in February
Mother Says Army Is Covering Up How Her Son Was Killed


Sgt. Okan Cetinbag was shot in the face at his home on an Alaska Army base. There were six colleagues in the house that day, plus Okan’s wife and young daughter. His mother believes they know what happened and are not telling authorities. -WGN News

Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered HS Student & Recruit Michelle Miller, Then Killed Self; Army Claims Double Suicide (2013)

Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller, US Army

The story of 17 year old Michelle Miller was featured on Forbidden: Dying for Love on Investigation Discovery. U.S. Army Reserve recruiter Adam Arndt, 31, enlisted the Rockville, Maryland high school senior in the Army Reserve Future Soldier’s Program. Michelle enlisted in part to help pay her tuition for Arizona State University. Unfortunately, in what appeared to be a downward spiral triggered by an ongoing military investigation, he took her with him. Because both Adam and Michelle were in the military, Army investigators concluded the investigation. In the end, they would add insult to injury and imply this was a ‘couple’ that wanted to die together in a double suicide despite background, testimony, and physical evidence to the contrary. Michelle’s father believes the Army changed the facts to fit their agenda.

According to her father Kevin Miller, Michelle left her Rockville, Maryland home at around 9:15 p.m. on April 8, 2013 after receiving a text message from someone in her reservist platoon about Staff Sgt. Adam Arndt. Michelle rushed out of her house believing that Arndt was suicidal and told her family she had to help a friend. Her father asked her to send the exact address, but he only received one vague message from her. He called the police and they arrived shortly before 9 a.m. the next day. When they were unable to make contact with anyone inside the house, they forced their way in and found Michelle Miller and Adam Arndt dead in the bathroom tub from what appeared initially to be a murder-suicide. Kevin Miller knows his daughter did not want to commit suicide because she simply had too much going for her.

Related Links:
Michelle’s Law on Facebook
Michelle Miller, Adam Anthony Arndt found dead in Germantown
Police: Army recruiter shoots teenage recruit, then self
Adam Arndt Suicide: Why Did Sergeant Shoot Teen Army Recruit Michelle Miller?
Army Staff Sergeant Allegedly Killed A 17-Year-Old Honor Student He Recruited
Military Murder-Suicide: Adam Arndt Shot High School Senior Michelle Miller Before Killing Himself
Vigil Held For Md. Teen Shot By Army Recruiter In Murder-Suicide
Teen’s Dad Says She Was ‘Smitten’ With Army Sergeant Who Police Say Killed Her
Father of slain Maryland Army Reserves teen speaks, says daughter had crush on recruiter who killed her
Recruiter who killed recruit married one
Maryland Army recruiter in grisly teen murder-suicide was married to another one-time recruit
Army Recruiter Murder-Suicide: Sgt. Adam Arndt Kills Teen Girl Soldier-to-Be
Adam Arndt, Army Recruiter Who Shot And Killed Teen Michelle Miller In Murder-Suicide, Reportedly Had Relationship With Her
‘Smitten’ Army reservist, 17, shot dead by recruiter when she rushed to his aid after he threatened to kill himself
New Details Emerge About Army Recruiter Suspected of Killing Teen
Details Emerge in Apparent Germantown Murder-Suicide
Army recruiter who killed student, self had wed a former recruit last year
A murder-suicide and the dark side of military recruiting
Michelle Miller’s death ruled inconclusive
ME: Rockville teen’s death undetermined
Cause of Death of 17-Year-Old in Army Recruiter’s Home Ruled Inconclusive
Students Honor Former Senior Michelle Miller One Year After Her Death
Michelle Miller, Adam Arndt: Army Sergeant Deadly Love Affair With Murdered Teen Recruit Subject of ‘Forbidden Dying for Love’
Forbidden: Dying for Love “The Sergeant and the Schoolgirl” (ID on YouTube)


When high school senior Michelle Miller joins the Future Soldiers program, she sees it as the first step to realizing her dream of enlisting in the Army. But a forbidden affair with her recruiter risks her career in the Army, and her future itself. -Investigation Discovery

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Katherine Morris

Katherine Morris, 22, was found dead in her car near the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland on May 6, 2012. Katherine was a University of Maryland student and married to Army spouse, Isaac Goodwin, who was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. According to a website dedicated to Katherine Morris, she died from carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grills lit in her car. Katherine’s family questioned the ruling of suicide by the Army and the Anne Arundel County police department immediately and were eventually successful at getting some retired civilian detectives to look into their suspicions of homicide motivated by life insurance fraud. Interestingly, Anne Arundel County police department also had jurisdiction of the homicide investigation of Army soldier Karlyn Ramirez, who was murdered in 2015. Karlyn’s husband Maliek Kearney and his new girlfriend Doris Delgado face federal murder charges. Karlyn’s homicide is similar in motive to the theories Katherine’s family has about her suspicious death. Karlyn and Katherine both appear to have been targeted and became the victims of domestic violence and/or life insurance fraud. The true motivation behind the Karlyn Ramirez and Katherine Morris deaths is unknown at this time but given how many homicides occur in the military with the common motive of domestic violence and/or life insurance, the Katherine Morris case deserves a second look.

Three families have asked for similar law changes for victims of domestic violence in the military since 2011. Representative Bruce Braley introduced the Holley Lynn James Act on behalf of Fort Bragg Lt. Holley Wimunc who was murdered by her Marine husband John Wimunc in 2008. The bill was advocating for the removal of the Commander and the Chain of Command from the investigation and adjudication of felony crimes like domestic violence because of their inexperience with the modus operandi of offenders. Unfortunately the bill was never even considered and this bill may have had the power to prevent what happened to Katherine Morris, Michelle Miller, and Karlyn Ramirez. Michelle Miller’s family believes she was targeted by an Army recruiter at her Rockville, Maryland high school and became the victim of domestic violence and homicide, despite the Army’s ruling of a double suicide. As a result, Michelle’s family is advocating for Michelle’s Law, which is an effort to encourage Congress to pass a law that would try military abuse and murder cases in civilian court. Katherine’s family is currently advocating for the Katherine Morris Military Spouse Protection Act. All of these law proposals ask that the Chain of Command be removed from the investigation and adjudication of felony crimes because of their inexperience at handling these complex cases. Similar bills have also been introduced to Congress to include the Sexual Assault Training, Oversight, and Prevention Act and the Military Justice Improvement Act. The military needs experienced investigators to get to the bottom of the truth in an effort to prevent crime and save lives.

Related Links:
For Kathy’s Sake, Inc.
Obituary: Katherine Sarah “Kat” Morris
U.Md. student found dead in car near Arundel Mills Mall
Questions abound after student death
Fort Bragg soldier accused of fraud after wife’s suicide
Army investigates allegation soldier drove UMd. student to suicide
Retired officers to give Anne Arundel County cold cases new life
Retired detectives to review 2012 suicide near Arundel Mills
Police reopen probe of Rev. Morris’ daughter’s death
Police Launch Independent Review Into UMD Student’s Suicide Death
Police re-open ‘suicide’ case of wife who was heartbroken after she discovered ‘soldier husband only wed her for Army benefits and was sleeping with other women’
Mother of apparent suicide seeks answers
Marguerite Morris v. Prudential Insurance Company of America (2013)
NAACP seeks federal probe of 2012 death in Hanover
Anne Arundel County mom not convinced her daughter committed suicide, calls for DOJ investigation
Morris v. Goodwin (2014)
Mother’s Search for Answers in Daughter’s Death Leads to Shelter Closure
Anne Arundel Police Response to Freedom of Information Request
Mother seeks emails in daughter’s death investigation
When Katherine Morris, 22, died suddenly, police ruled it suicide, but her mother continues to investigate
Marguerite R. Morris, Personal Representative of the Estate of Katherine Sarah Morris v. Isaac Jerome Goodwin (2016)
Fort Bragg Army Nurse Lt Holley Wimunc Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce, John Wimunc Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student Michelle Miller & Then Killed Self, Army Investigators Claim Double Suicide (2013)
Army Pfc Karlyn Ramirez Found Shot to Death in Home, Army Sgt Maliek Kearney & Army Veteran Dolores Delgado Charged with Across State Lines Murder, Feds Prosecuting (2015)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death
Army Specialist Isaac Goodwin allegedly marries for money, and his wife commits suicide

Fort Hood Army Soldier Michael Bailey II Allegedly Committed Suicide, Family Petitions Military and Killeen PD to Investigate Death as Murder (2011)

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Spc. Michael Henry Bailey II, US Army, died on December 29, 2011 from injuries sustained from a gunshot wound on December 23, 2011. He was assigned to 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas. Spc. Bailey deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2011 to November 2011. At the time of the Army press release, the incident was under investigation. According to a family petition, they believe that there was more evidence supporting murder then suicide. They asked the Army and the Killeen Police Department to investigate the circumstances further as they believe that someone close to Spc. Bailey’s life had motive (life insurance) and this person was allegedly present at the location on the day of the shooting.

Related Links:
Death of a Fort Hood soldier: Spc. Michael Henry Bailey II
‘Black Jack’ troopers mourn loss of Soldier
Justice for Army Spec E4 Michael Henry Bailey
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)

Pvt Danny Chen, US Army, Died of a Non Combat-Related Incident in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan (2011)

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Pvt Danny Chen, US Army

Pvt. Danny Chen, 19, US Army, died of a non combat-related incident in Kandahar province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2011. Pvt Chen was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on behalf of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Pvt. Danny Chen
Hazing and Harassment in the Military
Army charges 8 in Afghanistan in death of fellow U.S. soldier
8 soldiers charged in death of fellow serviceman
8 U.S. Army Soldiers Charged in Death of Fellow Serviceman in Afghanistan
Danny Chen’s family seeks justice in Army hazing death
Pvt. Danny Chen’s Family Speaks Out Against Military Hazing As Final Soldier Faces Punishment
Pvt. Danny Chen, 1992–2011
Why Black America Should Care About Private Danny Chen’s Suicide
Death of Private Danny Chen: Military Admits Chen was Target of Race-Based Hazing on Daily Basis
Charges referred in Pvt. Danny Chen case
Pvt. Danny Chen committed suicide a day before he was to be transferred, witness says
Army suicide testimony: Sergeant taunted Danny Chen with slurs
As Danny Chen Case Continues, Questions About Soldiers’ Punishments
A Young Private’s Suicide Reflects a Massive Failure of Leadership
Platoon Leader Dismissed from Army for Hazing Death of Pvt. Danny Chen
Military Court Convicts US Soldier in Hazing Trial
Soldier Convicted in Pvt. Danny Chen Suicide Case
Three Years Later, A Moment of Silence for Private Danny Chen
OCA remembers Private Danny Chen
Who Killed Private Danny Chen?
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Pvt. Danny Chen, and our highly conditional love of American soldiers
An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier
Manhattan Street Renamed for Danny Chen, Soldier Bullied into Suicide in Afghanistan
Outrage over Army platoon’s ‘Racial Thursdays’ where soldiers would hurl slurs at fellow troops and private who committed suicide once served

A1C Kelsey Anderson, US Air Force, Found Dead of Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound in Hangar at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam (2011)

Kelsey Anderson

A1C Kelsey Anderson, US Air Force

Airman First Class Kelsey Anderson was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on June 9, 2011. According to media reports, she was found in a locked stall in a second-floor women’s bathroom inside an aircraft maintenance hangar at the base. The military investigation indicated that a few months after Kelsey arrived at Guam, she was stripped of her service revolver over mental health concerns. Although Kelsey’s weapons privileges had been restored about a month prior to her death. The reports stated that Kelsey may have been unhappy after trying and failing to be transferred from Guam or released from military service. Kelsey’s parents had to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to get the Air Force to turn over its investigation records. They simply wanted answers for their daughter’s tragic and unexpected, untimely death yet the Air Force concealed the details. Chris and Adelia Sue Anderson received the mostly redacted investigation reports almost two years after their daughter’s death. The final court settlement with the Air Force in September 2013 was for the cost of the attorney they had to hire in their quest to get the information they were entitled to have. It’s unfortunate that this family had to wait two years for answers and even more unfortunate that they were forced to go to court during one of the most difficult times of their life.

What could have been done to prevent this? What kind of mental health services were offered to Kelsey? Why did Kelsey want to leave Guam and/or get out of the military? Why was she upset after finding out that she was not able to transfer or get out of the military? What were the extenuating circumstances that made Kelsey feel like she had no options other then suicide? Is this a suicide? After so many families have come forward with concerns that their loved one was murdered despite a ruling of suicide, do we know for sure that this was a suicide? It happened in Guam. There is absolutely no one to hold the Air Force accountable in that setting. There is no way to ensure that the Air Force investigated the scene as both a potential homicide or suicide. It’s as simple as what the Air Force says happens is what happened. Every government entity should have a mechanism by which they are held accountable. Where does a grieving parent turn to when they do not agree with the military investigator’s or medical examiner’s findings? Who holds the individual branches or Department of Defense accountable? The only body of people that can hold the military industrial complex accountable is the US Congress and even they struggle. Time and time again we hear accounts from service members and families that contacting their congressional Representative or Senator did not help. Some help, some don’t, and some never call you back. Every level of government should have accountability of some kind because this country was founded on the principles of checks and balances in our system.

“Enlisting U.S. Sen. Jim Risch‘s office for help still didn’t yield results.” -Chris & Adelia Sue Anderson

In an interview the Andersons’ lawyer emphasized that the prolonged wait and anxiety of suing the federal government in a last-ditch effort for information intensified the couple’s pain after the loss of their daughter. He empathized as a father of three and shared that he could not imagine losing a child thousands of miles away and not knowing what happened to her. No parent should have to wait nearly two years before the government decides to produce the information they deserve to have.

Related Links:
AAFB Mourns Loss of Airman 1st Class Kelsey Anderson
AAFB airman’s death ruled suicide
Grieving parents sue Air Force for answers in daughter’s death
Adelia Sue Anderson Parents Sues Air Force Over Death Daughter
The Long Goodbye: What happened to Kelsey Anderson?
The Long Goodbye: An Idaho Family Fights to Learn the Truth About Their Daughter’s Death
Was it murder? Mystery as Air Force claims 19 year old airwoman committed suicide in Guam base but family deny she was depressed and say they’ve been blocked from getting answers
Family finally getting answers on daughters death
AP: Documents Shed New Light on Suicide of Idaho Airman
Documents reveal mental health struggles of Airman Kelsey Anderson
Idaho airman under mental scrutiny before death
AP: Parents of Kelsey Anderson, Idaho Airman Who Died of Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound on Guam Air Base, Settle Lawsuit with Air Force
Idaho airman’s family settles with Air Force
Air Force will Pay Idaho Parent’s Legal Fees in Suicide Case of Daughter


The grieving parents of a 19-year-old Idaho woman who died serving her country thousands of miles from home say the U.S. Air Force won’t give them information about the circumstances of her death.