Four Fort Hood Army Soldiers Convicted For Illegal Immigrant Smuggling

Border Patrol Checkpoint

Border Patrol Checkpoint

August 27, 2015

By Lorra B.

In Brownsville, Texas a fourth Fort Hood Army soldier has plead guilty to helping smuggle illegal aliens into the United States. She is one of four to be convicted for smuggling undocumented aliens north of the Texas Boarder checkpoints.

Going before U.S. district Judge Andrew Hanen on Wednesday, 25-year-old Yashira Marie Perez-Morales admitted to the human smuggling charge. Perez-Morales, according to prosecutors, drove through Sarita’s Boarder Patrol Checkpoint with immigrants hidden in her vehicle.

Three other soldiers, 20-year-old Brandon Troy Robbins, 21-year-old Christopher David Wix, and 20-year-old Eric Alexander Rodriguez were also convicted for their roles in the human smuggling scheme which began in the Spring of 2014. These three soldiers, convicted in the city of Harlingen, on several occasions hid the illegals under their military gear.

“On three separate occasions,” according to RGVproud, “occurring on April 13, June 21 and Sept 11, 2014, authorities discovered the aliens with Robbins, Wix, and Rodriguez, respectively. That prompted Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) to further the overall investigation which led to the identification of Gracia and Perez-Morales.”

While Rodriguez and Robbins await sentencing, last month Wix was sentenced to a year and one day in federal prison.

Another civilian man, Arnoldo Gracia, was charged with provided immigrants to the four soldiers and has pleaded guilty. Gracia is awaiting sentencing on smuggling-related count.

By Lorra B

A Boot On The Ground For Every American Lost In Iraq And Afghanistan

Fort Hood Boot Memorial (Snapshot credit, FB)

Fort Hood Boot Memorial
(Snapshot credit, FB)

April 21

By Lorra B.

In a very Powerful memorial, Fort Hood has put a boot on the ground for every American life lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We salute you, brave warriors! Our thanks to you, your loving families and your friends for the sacrifices that you made to protect live lives of people you have never even meet…Though thanks will simply NEVER be enough…



February 6, 2015

We The People:

It took an act of Congress to make this happen as Obama would have never done so. This is still a matter of too little too late.

The Washington Times

Victims of the Fort Hood shooting will soon be eligible to receive the Purple Heart, with Congress pushing ahead with a policy change that would officially recognize domestic terrorism as an issue, rather than the “workplace violence” designation the Obama …
– The Washington Times – Friday, February 6, 2015

The U.S. Army is going to award the Purple Heart to the victims of the 2009 Food Hood killings, various media reported on Friday.

Sources told Fox News that the decision will be widely announced next week. Family members have been pressuring the military to bestow the Purple Heart honor — as well as the accompanying lifelong medical and financial benefits — for years

The Department of Defense finally listened, buoyed in part by a recently passed congressional measure that required top-ranking military officials to take a second look at the victims’ qualifications and reconsider whether they were worthy of the Purple Heart.

The Fort Hood shootings, carried out by former Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, were classified acts of “workplace violence,” even though media outlets and witnesses reported that he shouted “Allahu Akbar” while opening fire.

Hasan was convicted in August 2013, after which his attorney released letters to Fox News that indicated he pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State.

Shooting at Fort Lee—4th Violent Act of its Kind at Military Installation

imageedit_2_6396265953In an apparent suicide attempt, a female soldier injured herself at the Fort Lee Army base in Virginia around 9 a.m. Monday morning.

Fort Lee was placed on temporary lock-down and an Active Shooter protocol was established after the individual was seen with a gun inside the building.

Officials stated that she began throwing objects and then “the soldier turned the weapon on herself and fired one shot, injuring herself.” She did not wound anyone, other than herself, and an ‘all clear’ was given at around 9:50 a.m.

The shooting took place in a four-story building that, according to a military press release, is the headquarters for the Army’s Combined Arms Support Command.

She barricaded herself on the third floor when the lock-down came. According to officials, there were over 1,100 individuals in the building at the time of the shooting.

According to Stars and Stripes, “The daily population at Fort Lee—25 miles south of Richmond and 130 miles from Washington—is about 34,000, with members from all branches, their families, civilians and contractors. Fort Lee’s website says the installation has seen enormous growth and renovations over the past decade as a result of realignment and closures of bases across the U.S.”

As of yet, Army officials are not releasing the name of the shooter but stated that the soldier shot herself in the head after she had barricaded herself in the building. She is being treated at Virginia commonwealth University Medical Center.

The commanding general at Fort Lee, Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, stated that the soldier is a sergeant first class and has been in the Army for 14 years. The gun she used was not a service weapon.

 “We’re going to keep her in our prayers. She’s a soldier, she’s one of our teammates,” Lyons stated. Declining to indicate on her mental health condition or what could have lead up to the incident, Lyons simply said that she was “upset and enraged.”

 “We are sad for our soldier in arms that she faced those kinds of challenges that she felt that she had to resort to those kinds of actions. At the same time we’re grateful because this situation could have been worse.”

 Whether or not the soldier was being treated for mental health issues or if drugs or alcohol could have been a factor, officials are unclear and wont speculate. Lyons also stated that he wasn’t sure if her enraged state during the incident was an indicator of her personality trait or not.

 This shooting at Fort Lee, the fourth of its kind, came just four months after a soldier plagued with mental health issues opened fire killing three people and wounding 16 others at Fort Hood in Texas. This Fort Hood incident was the third of its kind in six months at that military base. Stars and Stripes reports, a civilian truck driver, in March, shot and killed a “sailor aboard a Navy destroyer at Naval Station Norfolk before he was shot and killed by Navy security…In June, authorities said a sailor repeatedly stabbed another near Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. The same installation was placed on lock-down in April when a sailor shot and killed himself inside a barracks there.”

“Monday’s lock-down came days after Fort Lee announced in its official newspaper that a new mass warning and emergency notification system would be activated in the coming weeks…The system allows users to input phone numbers, email addresses or pop-up alerts on any computer that’s part of the main Fort Lee network, the newspaper said.”

180,000 students are trained annually from CASCOM and on Aug 22, Lyons became its new commanding general.


By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier


Fort Hood: A Prostitution Ring Scandal Strikes

imageedit_3_7915264002Fort Hood is in the news once again. This time it’s for a prostitution ring scandal and Sgt.1st Class Gregory McQueen is smack in the middle of it.

 McQueen, 37, is a director for a harassment and sexual assault program at Fort Hood and it is his job to help prevent troops from the devastation that can be afflicted due to these types of assaults. He assists commanders in their prevention program and joins together “efforts of police, medical personnel and chaplains,” according to the Army.

 A 20-year-old female soldier testified on Tuesday that she was requested to join him and another female soldier to an undisclosed home for drinks last year. According to the 20-year-old female soldier (let’s call her Mary), McQueen knew that she had already experienced the horrors of being sexually assaulted while she had been training at a different Army post location. Yet, instead of protecting her, Mary said, once she was at the house, the two then tried to entice her into a prostitution ring.

 Mary was told she could make upwards of $400 to $500 a night. She reported that McQueen then started touching and kissing her until she pushed him away.

 McQueen, according to the Pentagon, has been relieved of his sexual-abuse program responsibilities and all duties.

 More than 21 criminal charges have been brought against McQueen and include sexual assault, pandering and adultery. He is being accused of recruiting female troops who are hard pressed for money and enticing them into the prostitution ring that McQueen described as “escorting.”

 Mary was having a difficult time paying all of her student loans and buying food for her child. That is when she said McQueen approached her with a way out of her financial woes. She also testified that she had engaged in sexual contact with McQueen in 2013 but that she had lied about that fact until she had received immunity in the case.

 McQueen wanted Mary to send pictures of her to him. She said he intended to show “higher-ranking” soldiers the pictures to tempt them into having sex with her for money.

 According to KWTX, “The witness said McQueen also came to her ‘on-post’ home and asked her to ‘act out’ on him what she would do with the soldiers who wanted to have sex with her for money.”

 It was McQueen, Mary stated, who arranged for her to have sex with another soldier, Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, at the La Quinta Inn in Killeen for $100. Grimes has been reprimanded and demoted for his part in the encounter. He was charged with “conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicitation to commit adultery,” according to CBS News.

 Mary, still married at the time, stated that she had engaged in sexual activity one other time with Grimes and that she used the money to buy food for her and her three-year-old child.

Grimes was charged and found guilty of “conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicitation to commit adultery,” though later acquitted of patronizing a prostitute and committing adultery. Mr. Grimes was reduced to E-7 grade.

 Pressure on the Pentagon has increased to deal with sexual misconduct and this case has amplified it.

 Congress has been discussing solutions for months, though a cohesive plan of attack has yet to be outlined.

 By, Lorra B. Chief writer for Silent Soldier   

Could the Massacre at Fort Hood Been prevented?

fort hood 3Representatives Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced The Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members Act (MEPS) six days before the shootings at Fort Hood where Spec. Ivan Lopez opened fire wounding 16 fellow soldiers and killing three. This was the second Fort Hood macaque.

Lopez, the former Puerto Rican Army National Guardsman, was only 34 when the macaque went down. He joined active, non-combat, duty a short time in Iraq in 2011 and was being treated for many disorders. His treatment took place at Fort Hood and consisted of a long list of disorders including sleeplessness, depression, anxiety and a traumatic brain injury he incurred from an accident.

The Tribune-Review stated Thompson saying, “I think it would’ve caught him,” of his bill’s provisions. “That’s my intent. If you change your service, like he did, and go on active duty, I would think that it would catch any underlying psychological conditions.”

The MEPS authorizes psychological screenings for all recruits prior to leaving for boot camp. Those who shift into active duty from the National Guard or from reserves would also be screened.

Extensive physical screenings are required by the Pentagon on all enlistees but absolutely no mental health tests are required.

The bill has the support of many military and mental health advocacy groups and 13 bipartisan supporters. MEPS would allow the military to identify behavioral issues for all recruits joining the military and help prevent suicides by establishing a mental health assessment.

“Despite increased awareness and expanded efforts to address behavioral health issues in the military, our service branches still face challenges when it comes to early detection and prevention. Issues such as Traumatic Brain Injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress, and suicide remain all too common. While the military performs comprehensive physical and medical evaluations, no similar examination for mental health exists,” Rep. Thompson stated. “The Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members Act will institute a preliminary mental health assessment at the time recruits are first joining the military. This small but consequential improvement to recruitment evaluations will help address a recognized knowledge gap within the military and ensure our soldiers are both physically and mentally fit to serve.”

Rep. Ryan stated, “Our military makes sure every serviceman and woman is physically fit for duty and this legislation will ensure that they are also mentally fit. It will also ensure that we have a better baseline against which to measure any potential mental harm they may have incurred during their duty. These men and women put their lives on the line every day in the service of our nation; it is our duty to offer everything in our power to guarantee they return home safely, both physically and mentally.”

Ryan went on to say, “I am heartbroken by the staggering number of our veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

According to Thompson, several Congress members were “shocked” to find out, after the massacres, that military does not evaluate mental health care of their recruits. One in five soldiers going into the Army gets there with psychiatric issues, according to Thompson. Half of those soldiers inevitably tried to commit suicide before they even enlisted.

Thompson said, “You kind of get beaten up, banged up and even blown up along the way when you go to war.” He went on to say that the soldiers don’t need the “unwarranted“ label of personality disorders used to deny them things such as promotions or benefits.

This is Thompson’s third time in Congress and is also a licensed nursing home administrator as well as a former therapist.

Thompson said that he understood that Fort Hood was “suffering” and that the bill “is something Congress can do for them now.” He indicated that although the effect of the bill won’t be immediate, it will help over time.

By Lorra B, Chief writer for Silent Soldier



Fort Hood – De‘Ja‘-vu


On November 5, 2009, the worse shooting to ever take place on a military base took the lives of 13 people and injured 30 others. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, after spraying his bullets, was shot and as a result remains paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan was found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder, 32 counts of attempted murder and was given the death penalty on August 28, 2013. Unbelievably, Fort Hood, once again the scene of death and murder.

On April 3, 2014, Ivan Lopez, an Iraq war veteran who had served in the Army for 9 years, used his own .45-caliber handgun to take the lives of 3 people and wounded 16 more before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life at Fort Hood.

The 34-year-old Lopez, originally from Puerto Rico, was undergoing psychiatric treatment for mental health issues after serving in Iraq for 4 months. According to CNN reporters Ray Sanchez and Ben Brumfield, “His history of instability and psychiatric issues are believed “to be the fundamental underlying factor” in the shootings, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post’s commanding general, told reporters Thursday.”

According to Milley, the “trigger event” leading up to the shooting may have been premeditated or may have been due to a “verbal altercation with another soldier or soldiers” right before the shootings. Milley went on to say, “At this point we have not ruled out anything whatsoever. We have no indications at this time of any links to terrorist organizations of any type-national or international.”

Fox News Latino reported that Lopez had been assigned to Fort Hood in February of this year and that he was working as a truck driver. They also reported that, according to Lopez’s Facebook page, Lopez had been robbed by two men and that he was not only accusing them of the robbery but that he may have been “hinting” that he “was on the brink of snapping.”

On March 1st, Lopez wrote on his FB post that “I have just lost my inner peace, full of hatred, I think this time the devil will take me.”

Apparently Lopez was distraught over two deaths in his family within a two month period. Just 5 months ago he lost both his mother and grandfather. Initially, the Army denied permission for Lopez to attend his mother’s funeral in Puerto Rico “but later gave him 24 hours to attend.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh, while testifying at a Senate Armed Serviced Committee hearing, said “Lopez was undergoing a variety of treatment for psychiatric issues, ranging from depression to anxiety to sleep disturbances” and that he was taking “a number of drugs” for these conditions. McHugh went on to say that Lopez had seen a psychiatrist last month and there had been no implications during his examination that pointed to any “sign of likely violence.”

Lopez leaves behind a wife and four children.

By Lorra B.

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