A Congressional delegation has come to Fort Hood to gather information on recent deaths of Fort Hood soldiers.
Members of the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee of Oversight and reform are meeting with soldiers and leadership teams to receive information on the events that have occurred over the past few months.
“We are fully committed to supporting the congressional delegation and having an open discussion with the congressional members about the recent events at Fort Hood,” said Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, III Corps Deputy Commanding General.
“Our goal is to provide them detailed information to ensure they have a full understanding of the challenges facing Fort Hood, and what we are doing right now to address the issues,” said Richardson.
The state reps hope to work hand in hand with the post’s new leadership and said they were impressed with Maj. Gen. Richardson, but hopes he delivers on his promise of regaining the public’s trust.
“We extend our hand in partnership to this new command and I believe them when they say they want to bring change, they want to re-establish trust, but a program isn’t going to do it, a short period of time isn’t going to fix it,” Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark said. “These are deep, systemic problems that we have just begun to explore.”
Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said the delegation would be sticking it out to help the families of the Fort Hood soldiers who have died under suspicious circumstances.
A statement issued by the delegation noted that so far this year, nearly 30 servicemembers at the base have died, including eight killed in accidents, six suicides, five homicides, and two related to illness. The cause of six other deaths is undetermined.
“It is our charge to be an efficient and effective pursuit of the truth. That is exactly what we will do,” Pressley said. “We will not go AWOL on these dedicated servicemen and women and the surviving family members of victims.”
Colorado Congressman Jason Crow, also a U.S. Army veteran, thinks the new command needs to get out of the office and deal with issues on the ground.
“The command has a big job in front of it,” Crow said. “It has to pay attention to the details and be out in all of the units and fix this stuff quickly to set a different tone.”
Members of the congressional delegation include Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif; Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas; Rep. Gilbert Cisneros, D-Calif.; Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.; Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.; Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass.; Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas; and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.