Congress to Investigate Fort Hood After Chain of Mysterious DeathsPress Release
FORT HOOD, TX– Congress is launching their investigation into the sexual assault, disappearances, deaths and the leadership’s response at Fort Hood after 28 soldiers who were stationed stationed at the U.S. Army base in Texas have died just this year, according to two subcommittee leaders on Tuesday.
Democratic Representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts and Jackie Speier of California sent a letter to Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy requesting several documents and information regarding the mysterious deaths.
Lynch currently serves on the Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee for the National Security, and Speier currently leads the Committee on Armed Services' Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
According to the letter, the subcommittees will jointly investigate to see if any of the recent deaths “may be symptomatic of underlying leadership, discipline, and morale deficiencies throughout the chain-of-command.”
The letter stated that Army data shows there were an average of 129 felonies committed annually at Fort Hood between 2014 and 2019, includingmultiple cases of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery and aggravated assault.
Members of Congress noted the deaths of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who according to federal officials was bludgeoned to death at the Texas post in April by a fellow soldier, and Pvt. Gregory Morales, whose remains were found in June while searching for Guillen. Morales was previously reported missing back in August of 2019.
The letter also notes Pvt. Mejhor Morta and Sgt. Elder Fernandes, whose deaths are still under investigations, and the homicide investigations of Pvt. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, Spc. Freddy Delacruz Jr. and Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones.
According to the letter by McCarthy during an visit to Texas in August stated that Fort Hood had the “highest, the most cases for sexual assault, harassment, and murders for our entire formation throughout the US Army.”
Lynch and Speier say they will be reporting the conditions and circumstances that could have contributed to the soldiers' deaths as they seek justice on behalf of the soldiers and families “who may have been failed by a military system and culture that was ultimately responsible for their care and protection.”
The family of Vanessa Guillen, whose remains were found on July 1, has rallied from the state of Texas up to the doors of the White House after calling for a full congressional investigation. Natalie Khawam, who currently represents the Guillen family, said she is thankful Congress has agreed to their demands to investigate these circumstances.
“Our soldiers and their families deserve the truth,” said Khawam.
In a statement Tuesday, Leaders of the Navajo Nation said they sent letters to several members of congress calling for “a congressional inquiry and formal investigation” into the deaths of the two Navajo Nation members who were previously stationed at Fort Hood under suspicious circumstances.
according to Fort Hood officials, Pvt. Carlton L. Chee, 25, died on Sept. 2 after collapsing at the Texas base following physical training exercises on Aug. 28. The Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President also received information from the family of Spc. Miguel D. Yazzie, who died on July 3 at Fort Hood, according to a release from the Navajo leaders.
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