HometownFort Hood


Congressional leaders hold a press conference at Fort Hood

Posted at 10:32 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 19:15:59-04

Congressional leaders will be at Fort Hood Friday afternoon to perform their oversight role in the wake of several concerning events involving the military installation.

Representative Jackie Speier of California along with a delegation of seven other representatives will be visiting Fort Hood along with the locations where Spc. Vanessa Guillen and PV2 Gregory Wedel Morales were found.

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.

Speier said she walked the path that Guillen walked before her murder.

A number of services members and spouses talked to Speier telling her, "I don't feel safe on the base."

Moral is low, according to service members and spouses. Speier said Fort Hood has the worst barracks she's ever seen.

The congressional leaders have more meetings today and tomorrow.

Jason Crow a representative from Colorado, and veteran, said soldiers have enough to worry about shouldn't have to worry about mold in the housing, or whether or not they will be murdered.

"We can and we must do better," Crow said. He said he is encouraged by the sense of urgency from new command on base.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark from Massachusetts said to retrace the walk to Vanessa Guillen's death was heartbreaking.

Clark said a mother told her there was mold in her home and on her baby's mattress.

Sylvia Garcia, of Houston, also spoke at the press conference.

She said the Vanessa Guillen bill is only the beginning, and it feels like "there's something in the water at Fort Hood" and it'll be up to everyone to continue to pressure to get to the bottom of what's going on at Fort Hood.

So far this year, 28 service members from Fort Hood have died including eight killed in accidents, six from suicide, five homicides, and two related to illness.

Army leadership has admitted that Fort Hood has the worst rate of violent crimes and incidents among its U.S. installations.

"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 press conference will take place at 5:30 pm and Channel 25 News will carry a live stream of the event on our Facebook page.