The disturbed shrink killed 13 and wounded 31 others. Most of those who were shot were military but two were civilians. The shooting was the largest casualty on an American military base in history.
Hasan, 39, arrived at Fort Hood in July after practicing for six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, which included a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychiatry. At Walter Reed, Hasan had received a poor performance evaluation.
According to eyewitnesses, Hasan took a seat at an empty table and bowed his head for several seconds when he suddenly stood up, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire. Somehow, the government declined requests from survivors and family members of the slain to categorize the shooting as an act of terrorism, or motivated by militant Islamic religious convictions.
In November 2011, a group of survivors and family members filed a lawsuit against the government for negligence in preventing the attack, and to try and force the government to classify the shootings as terrorism. The Pentagon argued that charging Hasan with terrorism was not possible within the military justice system and that such action could harm the military prosecutors’ ability to sustain a guilty verdict against him.
Sadly, the deaths at Fort Hood did not end there. There are many who have died as a result of illness or during the course of duties as soldiers. But there have also been some quite mysterious and unexplained deaths. Something or someone seems to be plaguing Fort Hood.
2016, particularly the last half, was an especially deadly year in Texas.
September 9, 2016: Private first class Stacy Jordan Hardy, 20, died from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.
September 13: 2nd Lieutenant Andrew J. Hunt, 23, was found unresponsive in his residence.
September 17: Private Nathan Joshua Berg, 20, died from an apparent gunshot wound.
October 7: Specialist Bradley Michael Acker, 25, was found unresponsive in his residence.
October 10: Private Dakota Lee Stump, 19, disappeared. On Nov. 3 his remains were discovered next to a flipped-over vehicle, which was registered to Stump, in a wooded area approximately 100 yards from the road near a Fort Hood building.
November 16: Private Kevin Paulino, 24, died of an apparent gunshot wound
November 18: Specialist Korey Deonte James, 21, was found unresponsive
November 26: Private Wanya Bruns, 20, died of an apparent gunshot wound
December 24: Private Paige Elizabeth Briles, 21, was found unresponsive
January 2, 2017: Private first class Randal Kenneth Anderson, 22, died of an apparent gunshot wound
January 7: Specialist. Barron Von Reichelt, 24, died from injuries suffered during an automobile accident
January 11: Sergeant Alex Mathew Dean Taylor, 23, was found unresponsive
January 12: Specialist Zackary Phillip Partin, 24, was found unresponsive
According to the Fort Hood press center website, all of these deaths are under investigation.
So now we have 12 young men and 1 woman, all under the age of 25, stationed at the same base, dying within 4 months.
All were in good physical health we assume since the website indicates deaths from illnesses and those are not included here. Yet 6 vital men and women were found unresponsive. Doesn’t that seem like an odd pattern?
There could be several explanations for what is happening at Fort Hood. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and not assume anything malicious in 7 of the 13 deaths.
Looking at the other 6, what would cause this kind of sudden death in these young people. Drugs come to mind. If that is the case, Fort Hood needs to get serious about its drug problem. Obviously, a military base is a place that should not have a drug epidemic. But it is possible.
How about illness? Perhaps if illness wasn’t apparent or known of at the time of death, it could still be the cause. Common sense dictates that if that was the case, after autopsies revealed the illnesses, the Army would release the information so as not to have the mystery hanging around. Unless, of course, they don’t want news of certain illnesses going public.
Can we completely disregard the coincidence that this base was the location of such a huge tragedy only 7 years ago?
We quickly return to the fact that 13 deaths of seemingly healthy people in 4 months seems, at the very least, strange.
It is outright mysterious. The military can be a dangerous profession, especially in times of war. The brave men and women sign up knowing that they may one day be asked to give up their life in service. Nobody thinks they will die suddenly, in curious and obscure ways.
Whatever the true cause is behind these deaths, Fort Hood, the Army, and the government needs to answer for them. Families of these young people need support to insist that resolutions are found and these deaths don’t remain a mystery.