DID THEY EVER FIND THE FORT HOOD MISSING SOLDIER?
By Ashley Nation
Last month, Private Brendan Lush became yet another Fort Hood missing soldier after not reporting to work for almost a week. Fort Hood is the largest active-duty base of the U.S. Armed Forces, halfway between Austin and Waco, Texas. Fellow troops, law enforcement, and the local news all did their due diligence in the search for Private Lush. Now, concerned community members want to know, was he ever found?
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Fort Hood Missing Soldier Now FoundFortunately, the missing Fort Hood soldier was found safe and returned to his unit on May 15th. Fort Hood officials thanked law enforcement for their contributions and the community for circulating command information without rumors. He will no longer be considered AWOL by the military, but further information regarding his short disappearance has not yet been released. Private Lush’s mother was kept well-informed during the entire investigation, and military leaders assured the continued monitoring of his well-being. This is comforting news, but we must go even further to ask what measures will be taken to prevent this reoccurring problem.
How Many More Fort Hood Soldiers Will Go Missing?Sadly, this is far from an isolated incident. “Missing Fort Hood Soldier” has been a frequent headline for more than two years. Multiple disappearances, suicides, and assault incidents like the 2020 Vanessa Guillen case have been tied to this Texas Army base. Vanessa Guillen’s case is still ongoing, but the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee recently published a 136-page report affirming multiple major findings. This included little to no proper procedures in handling missing soldiers and unsafe surroundings around the military base. We don’t know the exact reasons behind Fort Hood’s missing soldiers, but Private Lush’s disappearance, and the many others like his, point to a disparity between procedure and what’s actually occurring in the wake of these incidents.
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Advocates for Change at Fort HoodWe celebrate the Fort Hood missing soldier Private Brendan Lush’s return to his unit and his family. As Fort Hood continually undergoes changes to better serve its troops, we also hope to see the number of Fort Hood’s missing soldiers drastically decrease over the next two years. These realities can be painful, but we encourage you to continue advocating for your fellow service members and their families. Fort Hood has only touched the surface on the revamping of their culture, and their troops deserve much more.
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