What the Hell Is Going on at Fort Hood?

Fort Hood. One of America’s largest military bases is off the long stretch of highway between Dallas and Austin. Its Commander was set to transfer out and take over command of a division at Fort Bliss, but the Army announced on Sept. 1 that wouldn’t be happening.

To anyone who’s been following the news, the reasons are pretty clear. At last count, 26 soldiers have died at Fort Hood in 2020. That’s more than have died fighting in Afghanistan this year. Some have been accidents, others suicides. Five were murdered. For Fort Hood, 2020 isn’t an outlier but part of a broader trend that’s tied up in the base’s history and culture as well as its relationship to the neighboring city of Killeen.

The story is so complicated and terrible that we needed to speak with two reporters to make sense of it. First we get the big picture from Task & Purpose’s Haley Britzky. Britzky is a journalist working for Task & Purpose whose recent article there This all could have been prevented’ — Inside the disappearance and death of Vanessa Guillén is a must read on this topic.

Next, we speak with Rose Thayer of Stars & Stripes to dig deeper into the story and get details and specifics. Thayer is a reporter who’s been covering the story for Stars and Stripes, a native Texan, and the former military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald.

  • Rose Thayer recorded on 9/3/20
  • Haley Britzky recorded on 9/16/20
  • What happened to Vanessa Guillén
  • How the Army handles sexual assault
  • What the numbers really tell us
  • Who are the investigators?
  • What it’s like to live in Killeen? 
  • The Texas of it all
  • On parachute reporting
  • How to build a better military


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