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Friday, September 18, 2020

Members of Congress meet with Fort Hood leadership about rash of soldier deaths

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 4:46 PM

click image Speier is the driving force behind the recently proposed bipartisan “I am Vanessa Guillén Act." - INSTAGRAM / JACKIESPEIER
  • Instagram / jackiespeier
  • Speier is the driving force behind the recently proposed bipartisan “I am Vanessa Guillén Act."
Representative Jackie Speier, D-Calif., visited U.S. Army installation Fort Hood Friday, leading a delegation of members of Congress to investigate claims of harassment and the spike in deaths of soldiers at the Texas post.

The congresswoman will hold a press conference Friday evening to share the delegation’s findings, as news of the deaths of nearly 30 service members has rocked the nation and turned attention to the installation near Killeen.

Those 2020 statistics include eight accidental deaths, six suicides, two related to illness and five homicides, the latter including Spc. Vanessa Guillén, who was found dead after alleging she'd been sexually harassed by a superior.

Speier is the driving force behind the bipartisan “I am Vanessa Guillén Act,” which aims to overhaul how the Department of Defense handles sexual harassment and assault.

The cause of six additional Fort Hood deaths is undetermined, according to the House Armed Services Committee, which is responsible for funding, monitoring and supervision of the U.S. armed services.

Army leadership has admitted that Fort Hood has the worst rate of violent crime and incidents among its U.S. installations, the House Armed Services Committee said in a press release.

Joining Speier on the visit were U.S. Reps. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas; Gil Cisneros, D-California; Jason Crow, D-Colorado; Stephen F. Lynch, D-Massachusetts; Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts; Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts; and Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas. Speier is chairwoman of the subcommittee on military personnel.

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