FORT HOOD, Texas – The National Women’s Veterans Association is one of several groups which has protested against military sexual violence at Fort Hood this year, and they are looking for accountability from the post’s leaders in a string of suspicious soldier deaths.
The U.S. Army announced on Tuesday that 14 Fort Hood officers and enlisted soldiers would either be fired or suspended. For those speaking on behalf of the victims the last several months, this isn’t enough.
“Firing people. That’s somewhat of a punishment. But is it really?,” the organization’s founder, Tara Jones, said. “At the end of the day, these [victims] are no longer here, unfortunately. These folks are no longer here in the land of the living.”
Jones’ organization brought veterans from several states to protest at Fort Hood this year.
The 25 Fort Hood soldiers who died under suspicious circumstances or suicide this year is a number that stood out to Jones.
“That number jumped out at us,” Jones said. “If you’re seeing us publicly, that means that there’s definitely something that doesn’t feel right to us collectively as women of military service.”
The National Women’s Veterans Association is looking for harsher punishments of leaders to set a standard, so crimes like the ones done to SPC. Vanessa Guillén and others stop before they even begin.
“This should never happen to our active duty service members,” Jones said. “If it does, there should be a bar set so high that it would make people contemplate doing it.”