Texas soldier who drowned trying to help migrants wasn’t equipped with flotation device
Spc. Bishop Evans died after jumping into the Rio Grande to save migrants. He and other members of Operation Lone Star were not provided safety equipment. Texas Military Department said an order for buoys and ropes was made but has not been fulfilled.
New Zealand won't engage Myanmar in largest free trade bloc
New Zealand says it will not deal with Myanmar under a major 15-nation trade agreement, the world’s largest that took effect this year, citing the deadly violence and democratic setbacks in the Southeast Asian country after the military seized power.
UN: Food aid in Ethiopia's Tigray now at 'all-time lowest'
The United Nations says food distribution in Ethiopia’s blockaded Tigray region has reached its “all-time lowest” while more than 50,000 children are thought to be severely malnourished, the latest sign of growing crisis amid efforts to end the country’s 14-month warwashingtonpost.com
Allen West blasts Gov. Greg Abbott over suicides, pay problems among National Guardsmen at the border
Abbott’s political challenger said guard members deployed to Operation Lone Star are facing late pay, being exposed to COVID-19, experiencing supply shortages and dealing with added stress that has led to multiple suicides tied to the mission.
UN envoy warns of Myanmar civil war if no successful talks
The U.N. special envoy for Myanmar is warning of “a full-scale civil war” without a successful dialogue involving the powerful military, supporters of the ousted democracy, ethnic groups and other key parties on issues ranging from the current COVID-19 outbreak to the root causes of the country’s crisiswashingtonpost.com
A year after Vanessa Guillén’s death, lawmakers and advocates call for Congress to pass military sexual assault reform bill
A federal bill was recently reintroduced, proposing sweeping changes to the way the military investigates sexual assault and harassment allegations. Texas lawmakers are urging Congress to make it law.
Changing how the military handles racial bias in the ranks
Changing how the military handles racial bias in the ranks David Martin reports on the new efforts being put forth to address inequality in the military, this time under the watch of the country’s first Black secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin.cbsnews.com
US soldier arrested in plot to blow up NYC 9/11 Memorial
The 20-year-old soldier, also known as Cole Gonzales, was with the Third Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, when he thought he was communicating with the Islamic State online about the terrorism plots, Biase said. They said he expressed his support for the Islamic State group and jihad on social media before he began communicating in October with an FBI employee who posed as an Islamic State group supporter in contact with the group's fighters in the Middle East. According to court papers, he expressed his frustration with the U.S. military and his desire to aid the Islamic State group. The criminal complaint said he then provided training and guidance to purported Islamic State fighters who were planning attacks, including advice about potential targets in New York City, including the 9/11 Memorial. This month, according to the complaint, Bridges sent a video of himself in body armor standing before an Islamic State flag, gesturing support.
Army leaders fighting distrust from soldiers at Fort Hood
FORT HOOD, Texas – The skepticism in the rooms was palpable when U.S. Army leaders met with soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, in recent days, to check in on the embattled base, which has been stricken with violence and eroded morale over the past year. “I feel like leaders are just checking off boxes,” one male soldier said Thursday, as Army Sgt. Grinston, along with other Army leaders, met with dozens of soldiers. “The whole world is looking at Fort Hood, so they want to see you come here,” one female soldier said. He said the soldiers he met with told him: “Don’t stop getting to know your soldiers.
House votes to override Trump’s veto of defense bill
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)WASHINGTON – The Democratic-controlled House voted overwhelmingly Monday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, setting the stage for what would be the first veto override of his presidency. House members voted 322-87 to override the veto, well above the two-thirds needed to override. Trump rejected the defense bill last week, saying it failed to limit social media companies he claims were biased against him during his failed reelection campaign. The veto override was supported by 212 Democrats, 109 Republicans and an independent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a rare break with Trump, had urged passage of the defense bill despite Trump’s veto threat.
Defense spending bill named after Texas congressman passes U.S. House despite Trump’s veto threat
The National Defense Authorization Act is a massive annual bill that addresses spending within the armed forces and rarely encounters obstacles en route to passage. But this year, President Donald Trump threatened to veto the NDAA the day of the vote. “I hope House Republicans will vote against the very weak National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which I will VETO,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. The bill’s sponsor was Thornberry’s Democratic counterpart, House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith of Washington, who named the legislation the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act. “Doing it on the defense bill, airdropping it at the last minute, is not the right way.”Senior members in both chambers are warning the legislative delay could affect troops’ pay in the new year.
These 3 things make all the difference for veterans returning to civilian life
But what happens when veterans return to civilian life? Here are three things that can help a veteran acclimate to civilian life. Access to workIt can be a process for a veteran to get acclimated back to civilian life. If you know someone who is struggling to find work, share this: They have access to free programs that are specifically structured for them. The Goodwill Houston’s Veterans Employment and Training Services program provides free resume preparation, job training and interview skills.
Meet this Army captain, recently presented with Bronze Star Medal after deployment during pandemic
How familiar are you with what military members do, day in and day out? Of course, all military members deserve our recognition for voluntarily raising a hand and going to bat for our country and our freedom. (Provided by Maximillian Boudreaux)Amid the uncertain times that go hand in hand with a global pandemic, Woodbury was sent overseas. “The mission is to help sustain logistics and maintenance support operations in Iraq -- more so to help the Iraqi Army sustain themselves,” Woodbury said. It was the support of my team that enabled me to obtain that Bronze Star,” Woodbury said.
Most of us can walk into a polling station and vote -- this is what it’s like for deployed military members
It’s an issue that dates back to World War II: Making sure American servicemen and servicewomen have the ability to cast a vote in a presidential election, no matter where they’re stationed. With the passage of the Soldier Voting Act of 1942, it was settled: Military members would be given easy access to vote. Moran, who’s currently deployed in Poland, cast her first-ever absentee ballot for this year’s election. Although voting is a common task for many Americans, for most soldiers, it is a very unorthodox method -- voting overseas, that is, but the process is quite simple. In the 2000 presidential election, Republican nominee George W. Bush relied on 537 ballots to tilt Florida in his direction.
Fort Hood: Regaining trust after string of homicides, assaults and suicides
KPRC 2 Investigates is looking into how Army leaders are trying to regain trust following a string of suicides, homicides and assaults. A new acting senior commander was appointed to Fort Hood and KPRC 2 investigator Robert Arnold conducted an exclusive sit-down interview with Maj. Gen. John Richardson. Not only is Richardson the new acting senior commander of Fort Hood, but he’s also the deputy commanding general of operations for III Corps. Every time they see a leader not enforce a standard, they’re noting that.”Multiple investigations are underway into exactly why Fort Hood experienced 129 felonies a year over five years. At the end of September, Richardson shut down the corps at Fort Hood for five days.
Fort Hood: The Army’s most dangerous post?
So far this year, nearly 30 service members connected to Fort Hood have died, including by homicide, suicide, accident and illness. Army leadership has admitted that Fort Hood has the worst rate of violent crime and incidents among its U.S. installations. Christopher Wayne SawyerSawyer, 29, was found unresponsive on March 5 in his residence on Fort Hood, according to a statement released by the post. Mejhor MortaMorta, 26, was found unresponsive July 17 in the vicinity of Stillhouse Hollow Lake, near Fort Hood. His body was discovered on Aug. 25 near railroad tracks in Temple, about 30 miles from Fort Hood.
4-star Army general meets with Vanessa Guillen’s family in Houston
HOUSTON – KPRC 2 Investigates has learned four-star general John Murray visited with the Guillen family Tuesday at their southeast Houston home. Vanessa Guillen, 20 and a Houston native, was last seen at Fort Hood on April 22. READ: Vanessa Guillen timeline: These are the dates to know about her caseArmy officials named the main suspect in Guillen’s disappearance as Spc. READ: Soldier’s estranged wife charged in connection with Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, officials sayTuesday’s meeting comes more than six months after Guillen’s disappearance and as several investigations are underway into numerous problems uncovered at Fort Hood, including Guillen’s murder. In August, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy visited Fort Hood and apologized for failing Guillen and her family.
Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s death ruled ‘in the line of duty’
HOUSTON – The death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen has been ruled “in the line of duty” after a military investigation into the case, according to a statement issued by the Army on Tuesday. Investigators said an Army specialist and killed and dismembered Guillen. The specialist killed himself as officers moved in on him. Cecily Aguilar, 22, of Killeen, is accused of helping the specialist dispose of Guillen’s body in some nearby woods.
At least 9 Fort Hood soldiers found dead this year. Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus demands Congressional investigation
(TEXAS TRIBUNE) Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news. Elder Fernandes was found Tuesday in Temple, about 30 miles from the base, roughly a week after he was reported missing. In May, Fernandes reported he had been a victim of sexual assault. Army officials said Wednesday that an investigation determined the inquiry was unsubstantiated and that Fernandes was made aware of the results, according to The Washington Post. The circumstances surrounding Guilln's death sparked protests across major cities in Texas, with demonstrators calling on the military to reform its investigations into sexual assault allegations.
Family: Soldier believed dead was happy until recently
Elder Fernandes, 23, was found late Tuesday in Temple, according to local police. Natalie Khawam, who is representing the Fernandes family, said Army police told family members about the discovery late Tuesday night. Fort Hood officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. Army officials confirmed in a statement that Elder Fernandes reported an incident of abusive sexual contact and that investigation is ongoing. According to Isabel Fernandes, the family was told by Army officials that a different superior signed her nephew's hospital release.
9 Texas men, including 3 soldiers, charged in child sex ring case
KILLEEN, Texas (AP) Central Texas authorities say theyve cracked a child prostitution ring involving nine men, including three soldiers. Two Fort Hood soldiers and one from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio are among the nine suspects netted in their investigation, Killeen police said. Seven suspects, including the Fort Hood soldiers, were arrested on felony child prostitution charges. The other two, including the Fort Sam Houston soldier, were charged with misdemeanor prostitution. Meantime, the planned transfer of the Fort Hood commander to Fort Bliss to assume command of a division has been postponed.
Honoring Vanessa: Public viewing at Chavez HS to begin at noon Friday
HOUSTON Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen will be remembered on Friday during a public memorial at Houstons Chavez High School, the same school she graduated from in 2018. A public viewing is scheduled to begin at noon followed by the rosary at 6 p.m.I just want the community to get together and honor who she was, said Ashley Macias, a friend of Vanessa who plans to attend the memorial. The two met at Chavez during soccer tryouts. Vanessa Guillen to be laid to rest in customized casket this weekendShe was actually always really positive, Macias said. The Guillen family believes she faced sexual harassment in the military and has called for a Congressional investigation.
Trial date set for Cecily Aguilar, woman charged in connection with Vanessa Guillens death
WACO, Texas The trial of a woman charged in connection with the death of Army Spc. Cecily Ann Aguilar, 22, was charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence after she told authorities her estranged husband, Aaron Robinson, 20, asked her to help dispose of Guillens body. According to Aguilar, Robinson killed Guillen by striking her in the head with a hammer while on Ft. Court documents showed that Aguilar entered a not guilty plea and is set to appear before a judge on Sept. 28 following jury selection. The legal teams have until Sept. 14 to enter a plea bargain, and should a plea bargain be entered, re-arraignment held on Sept. 22, according to court documents.
Vanessa Guillens funeral, procession: Heres what you need to know about the 2 days of events honoring the fallen soldier
HOUSTON Vanessa Guillen will be laid to rest following a memorial service Friday and a caravan and a private funeral on Saturday. Guillens loved ones have shared the information on social media for those who want to participate in honoring the fallen soldier. FridayPublic events honoring Guillen start at 10:50 a.m. Friday, according to a schedule posted on social media. Friday will not be a day about justice or about our military reform, it will be about Vanessa Guillen. Friday will be the day of honoring, remembering, cheering, praying and respecting (the) beautiful life God gave her.SaturdayAt 5 p.m., there will be a caravan honoring Guillen ahead of a private funeral service and burial.
Fort Hood soldier drowns; 4th from base dead in months
BELTON, Texas – U.S. Army officials said Tuesday that a Fort Hood soldier drowned at the same lake near the Texas base where another soldier's body was found last month. Fort Hood officials say they are cooperating with local authorities. Hernandezvargas is at least the fourth Fort Hood soldier whose body has been found in recent months. According to a federal complaint, the 20-year-old was bludgeoned to death at the base by a fellow Fort Hood soldier who later killed himself. Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy on July 10 ordered a review of the command climate at Fort Hood.
Houston-area Marine among 9 feared dead in sea-tank sinking
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit announced on Sunday that the others, from California, Texas, Wisconsin and Oregon, are presumed dead." The Marine Corps commandant, Gen. David Berger, suspended waterborne operations of more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles across the branch until the cause of the accident is determined. In 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank offshore of the camp. Neighbor remembers Marine from Cypress presumed dead in training mishapBill Nink lived next door to Cpl. Last week, Nink was watching the news and saw there was a military training accident with an amphibious assault vehicle in southern California.
1 Marine dead, 2 injured, 8 missing after vehicle accident in California
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. A military seafaring assault vehicle that sank off the coast of Southern California is under hundreds feet of water, beyond the reach of divers and complicating rescue efforts for eight missing troops, officials said Friday. Troops on board two other amphibious assault vehicles responded quickly but could not stop the 26-ton vehicle from sinking, Osterman said. All of the Marines on the vehicle, which resembles a seafaring tank, were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Thursday's accident marks the third time in recent years that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault vehicles during training exercises. And in 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank off the shores of Camp Pendleton.
LIVE: Vanessa Guillens mother meets with President Donald Trump
WASHINGTON The attorney for the family of murdered Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen joined Members of Congress and the Guillen family to demand justice by introducing the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill. Guillens mother spoke before the march:If passed, the bill will allow active duty service members to file sexual harassment and assault claims to a third-party agency instead of their chain of command. When someone volunteers to serve our country, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their fellow service members. This bill will help us provide the protection and respect to others that was denied to Vanessa.Guillens family is also scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump. Following the meeting, Khawam gave a news conference to talk about the bill.
Vanessa Guillen death a #MeToo moment for the military? Congresswomen continue to call for full investigation, change
HOUSTON – Three congresswomen continued to call for a full investigation into the death of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen and changes to military culture in a news conference on Tuesday in Washington. This can never happen again.”Guillen’s death has been called a #MeToo moment for the military. The 20-year-old was bludgeoned to death at Fort Hood by a fellow soldier, investigators say. We know that at least one in four women veterans has experienced sexual harassment and assault. That is far, far too many, but I have to say that this statistic alone, it is staggering.
Federal agents, local streets: A 'red flag' in Oregon
President Donald Trump says he plans to send federal agents to other cities as well. The Chicago Tribune, citing anonymous sources, reported Monday that Trump planned to deploy 150 federal agents to Chicago. The ACLU of Oregon has sued in federal court over the agents presence in Portland, and the organizations Chicago branch said it would similarly oppose a federal presence. One prominent Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is from the libertarian-leaning flank of the party, came out publicly against the federal agents. "But the notion that a handful of federal crimes justifies a substantial deployment of federal law enforcement officers to show force on the streets is, to my mind, unprecedented.Federal law enforcement," Vladeck said, "is not a political prop.____Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus
Inquiry into Russia probe carries political consequences
But that doesn't mean the investigation, led by U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut, doesn't carry its own political consequences. He was named last year by Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation. Durham's investigation is one of multiple inquiries the department has undertaken in connection with the FBI's probe into potential coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. In the statement, released through the Justice Department, Durham said he disagreed with the inspector general about the investigation being properly predicated. Trump is likely to seize on any modicum of questionable activity during the FBIs counterintelligence probe, which morphed into special counsel Robert Muellers Russia investigation.
Pentagon's No. 2 IG official resigns after being passed over
2 official in the Pentagon's office of inspector general, Glenn Fine, resigned Tuesday, several weeks after he was effectively removed as head of a special board to oversee auditing of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package. In April, Trump also fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who forwarded to Congress a whistleblower complaint that ultimately led to the presidents impeachment in the House. A spokeswoman for the Pentagon's Office of Inspector General, Dwrena Allen, said Fine was not asked to resign. 2 official in 2015 and had previously been inspector general at the Department of Justice from 2000 to 2011. Although O'Donnell is now the acting inspector general at the Pentagon, Trump has nominated Jason Abend to be the permanent IG.
Federal coronavirus testing plan puts burden on states
WASHINGTON The Trump administrations new strategy for coronavirus testing puts much of the burden on states while promising to provide supplies such as swabs and material to transport specimens. The plan, which was delivered Sunday to members of Congress, drew harsh criticism Monday from Democrats. In a joint letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and Washington Sen. Patty Murray said the administration still does not have a serious plan for increasing testing to stop the spread of the virus.The report comes as the U.S. death toll from the pandemic is approaching 100,000. The HHS document, which The Washington Post first reported, recommends that all states have an objective of testing a minimum of 2 percent of their population in May and June.The Democratic lawmakers, who released the HHS report along with their joint letter, said it confirms that President Trumps national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there arent enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states.The Trump Administration still does not take any responsibility for ramping up our nations testing capacity, instead pushing the burden onto the states forcing states to compete with each other to procure vital supplies to administer tests from the private market, the lawmakers wrote. They also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on the $3 trillion virus release package passed earlier this month by the House, saying it would deliver a clear strategy and $75 billion for the testing and contact tracing necessary to stop the spread of this vicious virus.
Heres a look at recent attacks on U.S. military bases
A gunman tried to speed through a security gate at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday, opening fire and wounding a sailor who was a member of base security. Other security personnel shot and killed the man. The FBI said the attack was being investigated as terrorism-related but divulged few details as to why. A military law enforcement notice said he told another Marine that he would shoot up his battalion if he were disciplined for misconduct. Feb. 14, 2019: A man was fatally shot at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi after he drove through a gate at the Naval Air Station.
UPDATE: Gunman in terrorism-related shooting at Corpus Christi Naval air station identified
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas Update: 5:35 p.m. Several law enforcement officials confirmed to KPRC 2 that the gunman who opened fire at a Corpus Christi Naval air station early Thursday morning has been identified as Adam Alsahli of Corpus Christi. Update: 2:15 p.m. The FBI confirmed that the shooting at a Corpus Christi naval air station early Thursday morning was in fact, terrorism-related.The suspect in the shooting was deceased, the official said. Watch the full press conference below:WATCH LIVE: Officials give update after shooting at Corpus Christi Naval air station. The... Posted by Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Thursday, May 21, 2020The station had a similar lockdown last December. In another incident at the base last year, a man pleaded guilty to destruction of U.S. government property and possession of a stolen firearm for ramming his truck into a barricade at the Corpus Christi station.
Quest for 'super-duper' missiles pits US against key rivals
President Donald Trump calls them super-duper" missiles though theyre better known as hypersonic weapons. Critics argue that hypersonic weapons would add little to the United States ability to deter war. Trump occasionally mentions his interest in hypersonic weapons, sometimes without using the term. Russia last December said its first hypersonic missile unit had become operational. But critics see hypersonic weapons as overkill and potentially an extension of the arms race that led to an excessive nuclear buildup by the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Speech advocate Annie Glenn, astronaut's wife, dies at 100
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 1983 file photo, Annie Glenn speaks during an interview in Newport, N.H. Glenn, the widow of astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn and a communication disorders advocate, died Tuesday, May 19, 2020, of COVID-19 complications at a nursing home near St. Paul, Minn., at age 100. During WW II, the Korean war and two flights into outer space, Annie patiently waited for her John to come home, Butland said. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Annie Glenn Award was created to honor people who overcome a communication disorder. The university bestows an Annie Glenn Leadership Award annually. The Glenns served on the board of the college, now Muskingum University, and Annie Glenn was named a distinguished alumni fellow in speech communications.
Space Force unveils flag; Trump touts 'super-duper missile'
President Donald Trump stands as Chief of Space Operations at US Space Force Gen. John Raymond, second from left, and Chief Master Sgt. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON The U.S. Space Force the newest branch of the armed services now has its own flag. Defense Department officials presented President Donald Trump with the Space Force flag during a short Oval Office event on Friday. The Space Force, which was officially established in December, is the first new military service since the U.S. Air Force was established in 1947. The 16,000 airmen and civilians that make up the Space Force technically remain part of the Air Force, which previously oversaw offensive operations in space.
One Good Thing: Soldier surprises brother at high school graduation
PRATTVILLE, Alabama Many seniors aren't getting to celebrate graduation in a way they may have hoped, but for one Alabama high schooler, a surprise was sweeter than any ceremony. Mason Taylor had just received his diploma when his military brother Malik walked on stage for a big embrace. Malik drove 800 miles from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for the big moment. Unfortunately, the Taylor brothers wont be able to celebrate for too long. Malik has to report back to the military while Mason gets ready for collegiate football at Miles College.
Think you know your military battle history? See your rank on this quiz
Even though every day is one to recognize those who have served our country, Memorial Day rightfully highlights the sacrifices military personnel have made for centuries. Its also a good opportunity to revisit interesting tidbits of past battles, some of which are in the quiz below. Think you can rank high when it comes to knowledge of past military battles? Then try your hand at our quiz.
Military preps final honors for Marines killed in Tennessee
The remains of the four Marines killed in last week's shootings at a U.S. Navy facility have arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Dean Reynolds reports on how the military community is coping and what arrangements are being made to honor the slain servicemen.cbsnews.com
Fog hampers search for 11 servicemen presumed dead in helicopter crash
Fog hampers search for 11 servicemen presumed dead in helicopter crash Military rescue crews resume their search for any sign of seven Marines and four soldiers after a helicopter crashed in the Florida Panhandle. The troops were in a Black Hawk helicopter that came down Tuesday night near Eglin Air Force Base. Mark Strassmann reports from Navarre, where the weather is making the rescue effort very difficult.cbsnews.com
Wild mustangs help military veterans re-enter society
Wild mustangs help military veterans re-enter society Military veterans often have a hard time rebuilding their lives after war. But something special happens when you get a soldier together with a wild mustang Omar Villafranca reports from Granger, Texas.cbsnews.com
Israel strikes back: Military hits Gaza targets in response to rockets
Israel strikes back: Military hits Gaza targets in response to rockets Israel's army says it attacked more than 160 Hamas targets inside Gaza, and it is calling up more than 40,000 reserve troops. Holly Williams reports from Tel Aviv.cbsnews.com