The death of yet another Fort Hood soldier this week has shed light on the string of tragedies and deaths that have plagued the embattled US Army base in Texas in the last decade alone.
Two bloody rampages have left 16 people dead, at least 28 soldiers have died this year and two were arrested this month in a child prostitution sting.
The string of disappearances and deaths involving Fort Hood soldiers led the US Army Secretary to launch an investigation into the base last month.
There has been a spate of disappearances, death and accidents at Fort Hood in Texas in recent years, including suspected murders
Two Fort Hood soldiers were among the nine people arrested earlier this month in a massive child prostitution sting. Anthony Xavier Antwon, 25, (left) and Timmy Jones Jr., 30, (right) were allegedly caught trying to pay minors for sex over social media
At the time, Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that Fort Hood had one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army.
The most notorious of those cases was the disappearance of 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillen in April. She vanished soon after reporting she was being sexually harassed at the base.
Prior to her disappearance, Fort Hood soldier, Pfc. Gregory Morales, was reported missing from the base a year ago on August 20, 2019.
Meanwhile, two Fort Hood soldiers were among the nine people arrested earlier this month in a massive child prostitution sting.
Anthony Xavier Antwon, 25, and Timmy Jones Jr., 30, were allegedly caught trying to pay minors for sex over social media.
They are accused of contacting police posing as 15 and 16-year-old girls on social media and arranging to meet them for sex.
Police allege the men were willing to pay the girls in cash, drugs or alcohol.
They were arrested when they arrived at the arranged locations to meet who they thought were the underage girls.
Fort Hood has also been linked to two shooting massacres involving a soldier and a military psychiatrist.
Back in April 2014, Iraq war veteran Spc. Ivan Lopez opened fire at the base killing three and wounding 16 others.
He then shot himself dead.
Back in April 2014, Iraq war veteran Spc. Ivan Lopez opened fire at the base killing three and wounding 16 others. He then shot himself dead
Authorities, at the time, had suggested that Lopez had gotten into a verbal altercation with soldier in his unit just prior to him opening fire.
Five years earlier, psychiatrist Nidal Hasan slaughtered 13 of his comrades, as well as an unborn child, at the army base in 2009 in the name of Islam. The shooting massacre left 32 others injured.
He remains in prison on death row where he has been fighting his conviction.
The string of tragedies at Fort Hood resulted in Secretary Ryan McCarthy launching an independent investigation into the base to determine if leadership failures have contributed to the deaths and disappearances of the soldiers.
Army leaders have delayed the planned transfer of Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, the Fort Hood commander, to a more prestigious assignment at Fort Bliss, Texas, while the investigation is carried out.
Five civilian experts have already been sworn in for the investigation to assess command culture to ‘root out’ why there’s been such high cases of violence, deaths, and disappearances.
Those review results will be released in October.
The review was prompted by the slaying of Guillen.
McCarthy noted that her death has become catalyst for the Army in highlighting issues of sexual harassment and assault in the military.
‘I am markedly disappointed and saddened by one of our own killing a teammate,’ McCarthy said last month.
‘It takes a shot at the system and it rattles the system of the trust that you have to have in this profession.’
McCarthy said the review of Fort Hood will examine claims and historical data of discrimination, harassment and assault.
Nidal Hasan remains in prison on death row where he has been fighting his conviction ever since the shooting massacre
He also said he is in discussions about the language of a bill that is set to be introduced before Congress that seeks to address reporting mechanisms for sexual assault and harassment in the military.
‘One harassment and one assault is one too many,’ McCarthy said.
McCarthy said he conducted nine listening sessions and had candid conversations with Fort Hood soldiers of every echelon this week to understand the culture on and off the base.
He said investigators will be conducting a full independent review to understand why Fort Hood has seen a rise in felonies and violent crimes.