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Author: TriSec    Date: 08/18/2020 11:31:59

Good Morning.

What in the world is going on at Fort Hood?

The following story is from an unknown source to me that seems more entertainment-based, but they seem to be the only one asking the question. While the latest "discovery" would initially appear to be the result of a training accident - it's another name to add to the casualty lists.

The body of a yet another soldier has been discovered at Fort Hood.

Sgt. Bradley Moore died in a training accident on Thursday at the base, which has seen six bodies found in the space of just three months.

The 36-year-old was killed while undertaking a land navigation course, Army Times reported.

The cause of death has not been disclosed; while his death is not being treated as suspicious, the circumstances are still being investigated.

Since 2007, almost two dozen soldiers have been killed on or near the base, either in accidents or murders — five of which occurred since May of this year.

Shortly after midnight on July 17, the body of Pvt. Mejhor Morta was found floating in a lake near the base. Autopsy showed he drowned, although family members said he would never go swimming or even hiking there alone in the middle of the night.

On June 30, human remains — eventually identified as Spc. Vanessa Guillen — were found buried near the base. According to investigators, she was bludgeoned to death with a hammer inside the armory, dismembered, and burned. She had been missing since April 22.

The following day in the early hours of July 1, a fellow soldier suspected of killing her, Aaron David Robinson, died after shooting himself in the head as investigators approached.

On June 19, the skeletal remains of Pfc. Gregory Morales was found in a field near the base. He had been missing since August 2019. His death is still under investigation.

On May 18, the body of Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans was found shot dead, three miles from where his burning Jeep was discovered. Army investigators say he was killed in a dispute over the sale price of a gun.

One of those casualties, Vanessa Guillen, was recently memorialized in her hometown. There is a measure of unsatisfactory closure with this one - her alleged killer avoided military justice by taking his own life.

HOUSTON — Flags from the U.S., Texas and Mexico flew at half staff Friday as a white, horse-drawn carriage embellished with white flowers brought in the custom green casket that carried the remains of a slain soldier.

Vanessa Guillen, who was last seen on April 22, was memorialized nearly four months after she is said to have been killed by a fellow soldier at Fort Hood, a U.S. Army base in Texas. Mourners gathered at Cesar Chavez High School in Houston, where Guillen grew up playing soccer and dreaming of joining the military.

“She’s very happy where she is next to God and the Virgin Mary,” Lupe Guillen said. “We are not here for justice or politics today. We are here to remember, honor and respect Vanessa Guillen and her beautiful life, her tender heart and her beautiful face.”

In a private moment just before entering the school's auditorium— where flowers in green and yellow hues, balloons, religious images and pictures of Guillen adorned the stage— family and friends walked behind the casket, accompanying Guillen on a last lap around the field she frequented as a teenager. Guillen's mother and grandmother grasped each other as they prayed over the casket through sobs.

Standing in front of the casket, Guillen's grandmother shared a story about the chocolates she carried in her purse. She said they were her granddaughter's favorite, and she brought them for her from Mexico every visit. Her last memory of her granddaughter is from December, when Guillen was leaving to work and turned back, gave her a hug and money and told her to buy herself a treat, a soda, or something she liked that was just for her to enjoy.

“Now, I am here to lay these, her favorite chocolates, at my Vanessita's grave,” Guillen's grandmother said in Spanish.

Guillen's best friend, Jocelyn Sierra, said they met at Cesar Chavez High School five years ago. She said although it has been 114 days since Guillen died, she feels her presence with her every day. Sierra said the last time she saw Guillen was a week before she went missing, when they ate pizza together and watched the movie “G.I. Jane."

The Roman Catholic service was open to the public and was being streamed online. The memorial was scheduled to last until 8 p.m., with praise sessions, prayers and testimonials. Guests included U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and friends of the Guillen family. Guillen's remains will be laid to rest after a private ceremony Saturday.

Guillen’s story has renewed a push for changes in the way the military handles sexual abuse and harassment from Fort Hood to Capitol Hill.

Natalie Khawam, who is representing the Guillen family, said the family is thankful to President Donald Trump because the White House helped to expedite the process of giving Guillen's remains to relatives so they could have a funeral.

Guillen disappeared from Fort Hood, where she was stationed, on April 22, and Army officials confirmed July 6 that her remains had been found. Investigators said she was bludgeoned to death on base by a fellow soldier, who later killed himself, according to a federal complaint.

But let's speculate. I'll note I'm the only one making this speculation. For nearly all of it's modern existence, the US military has been the bastion of white, conservative, males. Without too much thought, you could probably come up with an "organization" or two that those same white, conservative, males might join if they weren't in the military. Well guess what? There is some crossover.

The most recent report from the Army on street and outlaw motorcycle gang activity in the ranks shows both trending upward, while incidents of domestic extremism remain roughly constant.

An internal report, obtained by Military.com through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that gang members were tied to dozens of Army felony law enforcement reports and more than 100 criminal investigations in fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available. While these reports and investigations make up less than 1% of all Army law enforcement incidents, the new report shows that the little-discussed problem of military gang activity continues to be a headache for base commanders and other service leaders.

The Gang and Domestic Extremist Activity Threat Assessment from Army Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, is a regular report compiled at the behest of Congress. In fiscal 2018, the report found 83 law enforcement reports across the military with known or suspected gang or domestic extremist member involvement, a 66% increase from the previous year.

"The data shows that gang LERs are steadily increasing each fiscal year," the CID report states. "FY18 is the highest percentage increase thus far."

That increase holds true across categories: Street gang activity shows a 68% year-over-year increase, from 38 to 64 incidents, while outlaw motorcycle gangs had a 60% increase, from 10 to 16 incidents. Domestic extremist events remained few, increasing from 2 to 3 year over year.

While the report does not offer reasons or explanations for those increases, it does offer some insights into current gang trends. Gang members increasingly communicate with each other on social media platforms ranging from SnapChat to TikTok, and have become more diverse, with "female gang associates [serving] in increasingly active roles in gang-related crimes."

Gangs are also becoming less centralized. The report cites the Texas Department of Public Safety, saying that "many young gang members are relinquishing traditional gang structure and rules, opting for less organizational oversight and the freedom to serve in roles of self-interest."

In the Army, the gang-related crime investigations ran the gamut from murder to absences without leave; in some cases, the suspected gang member was actually the victim in the crime.

Nice, huh?

But let's change gears - since it's the question of the week, what will the USPS shutdown do to military votes? It's difficult to get a read on it, but it appears to me that overseas military votes will be just fine...at least until those ballots reach the United States.

In 1980, the military established something called the "Military Postal Service Agency", ostensibly to be a single point of contact with the USPS to deliver military mail.

MPSA was formed in 1980 to consolidate similar mail functions within the military services and serve as the single mail manager. MPSA is a jointly-staffed organization, headquartered in the National Capital Region, serves as the single point of contact with the United States Postal Service (USPS), and oversees the Military Postal Service (MPS) for the Department of Defense (DoD). MPSA provides postal support to geographic Combatant Command (COCOMs) through Services' theater postal commands by assisting with contingency planning. MPSA monitors transportation expenditures for mail movement, is the proponent for DoD's cost control policy on official mail, and the functional director for military mail.

So my read on this - military balloting will be just fine. All our overseas personnel will get their ballots on-time, and will be able to drop then in a military postbox on the base, or shipboard, and the MPSA will be their efficient self in organizing it and returning it to their headquarters in Washington, DC.

From there, it will get turned over to the USPS for domestic delivery to the soldier's home state - and down the rabbit hole it goes.

Funny that this isn't a concern. There are 165,000 US personnel overseas. But of course most of the military votes overwhelmingly Republican.


4 comments (Latest Comment: 08/18/2020 16:00:18 by Raine)
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