A Stars and Stripes writer reports on Military.com on conditions at Fort Hood, Texas, after eight Democratic members of Congress said they have many lingering concerns “after touring the base this week and speaking with the soldiers and families who live there.”
That’s despite the sign at an entrance to the base that reads “Welcome to III Corps & Fort Hood ‘The Great Place'”.
“The lawmakers spoke about their visit Friday outside the main entrance to Fort Hood, and often mentioned by name some of the 28 soldiers who died at the base this year. The manner of those deaths, including eight soldiers killed in accidents, six suicides, five homicides and two illness-related deaths, drove the lawmakers to further investigate the central Texas base themselves.
“I’m deeply concerned about the soldiers here and their families. Morale is low and the battle rhythm is high,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., chairwoman of the military personnel subpanel of the House Armed Services Committee, said after the visit. “We are going to make this base a safe place for men and women to serve. I can commit to you that we are going to make sure the conditions under which our families are housed here are going to improve and that service members who are in barracks here are going to have decent accommodations.”
Out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind for anyone in the U.S. military.