(Uninterrupted live coverage of the July 4th spectacular on KWTX is proudly brought to you by these generous sponsors: WC Tractor, Rabroker Air Conditioning and Plumbing and Mac Haik Dodge in Temple). Posted at 3:05 PM, Dec 24, 2020 and last updated 2020-12-24 16:05:49-05 FORT HOOD, TX — The Fort Hood Post Exchange (PX) was temporarily evacuated on Christmas Eve due to a suspicious package. "CDC guidelines have shuttered many community Fourth of July parades and celebrations," said KWTX Vice President and General Manager Josh Young. In April, Guillén was bludgeoned to death in an armory room by Spc. “I really think it is up to the Army to determine how far they want to go back with any type of other actions,” said Jonathan Harmon, one of the independent committee members. SHARP personnel often had to use their own funds for training materials and their personal vehicles to drive victims to the hospital. Efflandt was the highest-ranking official relieved from duty by McCarthy, followed by Col. Ralph Overland and Sgt. Fort Hood will mark Independence Day from 5-10 p.m. July 4 with a celebration at Hood Stadium. The two women on the independent committee — Carrie Ricci, a retired Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps officer, and Queta Rodriguez, a retired Marine Corps officer — said they interviewed 503 female soldiers individually on the base, including every female soldier in Guillén’s unit in the 3rd Calvary Regiment. “Several soldiers stated they felt ‘safer in Afghanistan than at Fort Hood,’” Swecker and other committee members noted. WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army on Tuesday said it has fired or suspended 14 officers and enlisted soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and ordered policy changes to … Fireworks may be viewed in adjacent and outlying parking lots around Hood Stadium. We don't want military kids to feel that stress. That’s all it takes to support the journalism you rely on. At 9:30 p.m. III Corps Commander Lt. Gen Pat White, who is currently deployed serving our nation, will share a special message leading up to the largest one-mile radius fireworks display in Central Texas choreographed to patriotic music. “How do we address those leaders who went on to other installations, bases, and commands that were part of the problem?”. “It’s still bleeding under the Band-Aid.”. Joining is simple and doesn’t need to cost a lot: You can become a sustaining member for as little as $3 or $5 a month. Vanessa Guillén, confirmed that Fort Hood led the entire Army formation in violent felonies and drug offenses. We think the various commands’ focus was on readiness. If you want to see it in person, you can enter Fort Hood gates starting at 7 pm. Jolene Almendarez / American Homefront Originally published on December 4, 2020 3:52 pm Leadership drives culture. The Army has fired or suspended 14 people in leadership positions at Fort Hood … But his focus was not on prevention, according to the report, but almost solely on reducing a backlog of more than 1,000 active sexual assault cases. Due to COVID-19 restrictions those wishing to view the fireworks live on base will be required to social distance in their vehicles in designated parking lots near Hood Stadium, and the public can also enjoy the view of the one-radius display alongside the highway and from the Central Texas campus parking lot. At the Pentagon briefing, Chris Swecker, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division and chair of the independent committee, said that while crime in the city of Killeen was “relatively low in comparison to other cities outside major Army installations,” there were high-crime areas at Fort Hood. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Mayor: Nashville bombing questions could be answered 'relatively soon', AstraZeneca says coronavirus vaccine candidate should be effective against new strain in UK. McCarthy said that the Army would now investigate whether a soldier’s absence was voluntary within the first 48 hours of their failure to appear for duty. The committee examined the CID’s handling of Guillén’s case and dozens of others and found the investigators “inexperienced” and “over assigned.”. Ricci said the committee members discovered 93 credible accounts of sexual assault, only 59 of which had been reported. Remains Found During Search for Missing Fort Hood GI Vanessa Guillen, But ID Not Yet Confirmed Posted By Nina Rangel on Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 5:27 PM click to enlarge … They took their eye off the ball of something that was important and never made the connection between readiness and recruitment and the health and safety of their soldiers.”, Speier appeared unsatisfied, pointing out that Congress had spent the last decade and close to $1 billion trying to fix the problem. “We are holding leaders accountable and we will fix this.”, But at the sprawling military installation in Central Texas, three noncommissioned officers said that while it was refreshing to hear McCarthy and senior officials take responsibility for the base’s failures, they are skeptical that they can fix a deeply entrenched Army culture in which high-level commanders protect one another’s transgressions and incidents are “kicked under the rug.” (The NCOs interviewed for this story requested that their names be withheld for fear of retribution.). After Guillén’s case became public, Maj. Gen Scott Efflandt, a two-star general who was in command of Fort Hood while White was overseas, started presiding over SHARP meetings. The Fort Hood Independence Day Fireworks will take place over Hood Stadium from 9:30 to 10 p.m. July 4. “And there are lives lost because of it. Altogether, the committee made 70 recommendations. Events, Weather, Info, News and Resources for the Fort Hood and Surrounding Communities. The female sergeant at Fort Hood, who previously told The Intercept that she was drugged and raped by a more senior officer but never reported it, said the committee’s findings highlight the everyday reality for female soldiers at the base. As Americans prepare to mark the nation’s 238th birthday Friday, Fort Hood Soldiers, Families and community members also are readying for the barbecues, get-togethers and fireworks displays. Copyright 2020 KWTX. When asked whether the three men would be separated from service or allowed to remain in the military, an Army spokesperson told The Intercept that they had been officially removed from their “assigned duty positions, which is not considered a punishment.” The spokesperson added that “any determination of subsequent actions will be made following the conclusion of the ongoing administrative investigation.”. Ready? They are responsible for everything that a unit does or does not do,” McCarthy said. How many covert wars, miscarriages of justice, and dystopian technologies would remain hidden if our reporters weren’t on the beat? “What we found was that there were no proactive efforts to suppress crime, to address the drug issues, to address violent crimes,” Swecker said. “We own the results,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said of the independent review at the press conference. After visiting the Pentagon, the five members of the independent committee testified on December 9 before members of the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel, chaired by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who blamed not just Army commanders but the broader military leadership for “years of inexcusable neglect and failure from the top in preventing a toxic culture of sexual assault, harassment, and retaliation.”, While the scope of the report was restricted to recent events at Fort Hood, Speier questioned whether the findings were symptoms of deeper problems in Army leadership. Fort Hood officials say eight soldiers died in some kind of accident this year, six have died by suicide, five were killed in homicides, two died of illnesses and five are still pending. The committee found that failed drug tests at the base were the highest among all Army posts. The committee also reported that “Fort Hood has high suicide attempt and suicide death rates relative to similar posts,” despite the “availability of multiple mental health care venues.” The NCOs who spoke to The Intercept said that soldiers are reluctant to seek help because they fear they’ll be ostracized by their superior officers and unable to advance in their careers. Vanessa Guillen is a 20-year-old private first class stationed at Fort Hood who disappeared in April. On Yahoo, Yelp, SuperPages, AmericanTowns and 25 other directories! “It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a wound that you need to pack,” another sergeant said of the Army’s disciplinary actions. The channel is merely being changed from Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” back to “The West Wing.”, “It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a wound that you need to pack. The Fort Hood Independence Day Fireworks will take place over Hood Stadium from 9:30 to 10 p.m. July 4. “What many of the soldiers at Fort Hood needed was to be believed,” Ricci said. Worse, many soldiers were unaware that the program even existed. Anne was known for her humor and fiery wit. Some of the report’s most disturbing findings were regarding Fort Hood’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP, which was created so that soldiers could report sexual assault or harassment and receive legal and support services. If the absence was found to be suspicious, soldiers would be categorized as missing and an investigation would be opened. While Fort Hood is used as a training ground for newly graduated CID investigators, understaffing, inadequate training, and a lack of forensic equipment means that many crimes are not identified or fully investigated, leaving soldiers and their families feeling unsafe. “A lot of people are just kind of shrugging it off,” one sergeant said. Add your social media links and bio and promote your discounts, menus, events. The Fort Hood Directorate of Emergency Services reports temporarily evacuated the Post Exchange. A memorial for Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén outside Fort Hood in Killeen. Soldiers are often automatically listed as AWOL, with the Army making little attempt to locate them; noncommissioned officers told The Intercept in October that they had few tools to help those under their command who disappeared from base. The disciplinary actions are administrative, meaning the officials could still retire or leave the Army with an honorable discharge. On Dec. 24, 2020, Fort Hood officials cleared a "suspicious package," which resulted in a temporary evacuation of the shopping center. Fort Hood Area Events, Fort Hood, Texas. One Fort Hood staff sergeant said that real accountability was still lacking. They also found 63 unreported accounts of sexual harassment. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Dec 8, 2020 The head of a Central Texas Army post is promising to make changes following a scathing sexual harassment and abuse report. Military personnel carry the casket of Vanessa Guillén to Cesar Chavez High School for her memorial service in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 14, 2020. “But what we did see is that there has been a lot of conflict, a lot of fighting going on over the last 20 years. Maj. Bradley Knapp, who commanded the 3rd Calvary Regiment where Guillén served. During the CID’s investigation, inexperienced agents botched interviews, needed outside help in writing search warrants to obtain evidence, and in two instances supplied incorrect information that “led to fruitless searches and expenditure of scarce manpower,” according to the report. Bowl in the New Year Strike out … “At some point we have got to do something differently, because this is not working,” she said. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. FORT HOOD, Texas (July 1, 2020) - KWTX and III Corps and Fort Hood are joining forces to celebrate America’s independence with a one-hour patriotic special featuring a tribute to everyday heroes followed by a 30-minute fireworks spectacular broadcast live on KWTX News 10, KWTX.com and the KWTX Facebook page from the Bell County Army post. “I feel like at this point, people are being relieved of duty just to show the media and soldiers that heads will roll,” the staff sergeant said. We were created exclusively for charitable purposes as a unit-level (13thCOSCOM) initiative. FORT HOOD, Texas (July 1, 2020) - KWTX and III Corps and Fort Hood are joining forces to celebrate America’s independence with a one-hour patriotic special featuring a tribute to … Who would hold party elites accountable to the values they proclaim to have? The committee, which was appointed after public outcry over a string of suicides and homicides, including the high-profile murder of 20-year-old Spc. “There’s no use in reporting it.”. Consider what the world of media would look like without The Intercept. The U.S. government has reinforced media restrictions at hospitals, reducing the flow of disturbing images of the pandemic. Hiding Covid-19: How the Trump Administration Suppresses Photography of the Pandemic, Biden’s Win Trades One Political Fantasy for Another. Marshals, and the FBI that the case was broken.”. In the shadow of Trump’s execution spree, the families of the condemned share a particular trauma that few can understand. The report comes after 25 people connected with the base died in 2020, including by suicide and murder. When you have family members who are asking, ‘I don’t know if it makes sense for my son or daughter to go into the military because they fear for their lives, not overseas but here at home,’ we have a huge problem.”, At Fort Hood, the NCOs said it’s hard not to be skeptical after years of neglect. “I would never go to my senior leadership and tell them how I feel or what happened to me because they would just look at me like I was crazy,” she said. The kind of reporting we do is essential to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or profitable. A supporter of Vanessa Guillén is seen during a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on July 30, 2020. They reviewed CID cases from 2016 to 2020 and noted that investigations averaged 115 to 214 days in duration — by which point many of the victims had already transferred from the base or left the Army entirely. 53K likes. FORT HOOD, Texas (July 1, 2020) - KWTX and III Corps and Fort Hood are joining forces to celebrate America’s independence with a one-hour patriotic special featuring a tribute to everyday heroes followed by a 30-minute fireworks spectacular broadcast live on KWTX News 10, KWTX.com and the KWTX Facebook page from the Bell County Army post. NCOs at Fort Hood told The Intercept in October that drug use on the base was pervasive and that higher-ranking officers found using drugs were often reassigned to other positions rather than punished, creating a climate of impunity. “Things have not been safe here for years,” she said. We don’t have ads, so we depend on our members — 35,000 and counting — to help us hold the powerful to account. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 8, 2020. on about your day, ask yourself: How likely is it that the story you just read would have been produced by a different news outlet if The Intercept hadn’t done it? and last updated 2020-12-01 16:54:33-05 FORT HOOD, TX — 'Tis the season at III Corps Headquarters! “Nothing in the report is a surprise,” said one of the sergeants at Fort Hood, who has served in the Army for nearly a decade. 2,600 Fort Hood kids to benefit from 'elves' busy at Santa's Workshop. Robinson later killed himself as police attempted to take him into custody. An independent committee appointed by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy released a scathing report last week finding that Fort Hood leadership allowed a “toxic culture” of sexual assault and harassment to flourish at the troubled Army base in Killeen, Texas. Independence Day Fireworks Jul 4 2020, 9:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Over Hood Stadium - Hood Stadium Road Watch the Fort Hood Independence Day Fireworks display from multiple parking lots on post or tune in to the live TV broadcast and enjoy from the comfort of your home. WATCH LIVE: Saturday, July 4th beginning at 9:00P. Aaron Robinson, according to a criminal complaint. The … Celebration of Love's event on December 11, 2020 is dedicated to our good friend and supporter, Anne Henry. “This has been going on for years.”, During a press conference at the Pentagon on December 8, McCarthy announced that 14 leaders at Fort Hood would be relieved from duty or suspended pending further investigations into Fort Hood’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, which the independent committee called “structurally flawed” and “chronically under-resourced,” and the Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, which the committee found “deficient.”, “I have determined that issues at Fort Hood are directly related to leadership failures. November 13, 2020 - January 3, 2021 A Fort Hood Holiday Tradition and will be open Thanksgiving, Christmas and Christmas Eve. Army disciplines 14 at Fort Hood over leadership failures that led to pattern of violence, including deaths Associated Press Published: December 8, 2020, 11:13 am Updated: December 8, 2020… Frontier Park, Lions Park and … Due to the committee’s findings about Fort Hood’s “permissive” attitude toward sexual assault and harassment, two leaders of the 1st Cavalry Division, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater and Command Sgt. Some have also questioned why Lt. Gen. Robert “Pat” White, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood, was not disciplined. The committee also determined that Fort Hood took an “ad hoc approach” to the well-being of soldiers who fail to report to duty. On Dec. 3, III Corps and Fort Hood will host a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at … The actions come after a four month review by an independent committee found a “pervasive lack of confidence” in the command climate at Fort Hood and a high risk of harm to female soldiers. Altogether, the committee reviewed 53 suicide cases between 2018 and 2020, which revealed that “off-post suicides and deaths were not fully investigated” and investigations into suicide cases on base were incomplete. “Soldiers made it absolutely clear that illegal drugs are readily available on and off the post,” the report noted. The 2020 fireworks show is designed to maximize aerial displays for visibility from locations all over Cheyenne. Investigations took too long, and no one in command was tracking whether they were being done in a timely manner, the committee found. Noncommissioned officers who previously spoke with The Intercept out of concern for the safety of soldiers under their command said this week that the committee’s findings highlight what they see as an urgent need to clean up the base’s leadership culture. Most soldiers, the committee found, feared retaliation if they reported assault or harassment to their superiors or SHARP program personnel. 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