Navajo Nation Joins Critics of Fort Hood Following Deaths of 2 Native American Soldiers

Navajo Nation calls for investigation of two soldiers at Fort Hood.
Pvt. Carlton Chee and Spc. Miguel Yazzie died at Fort Hood in Texas. U.S. Army

The Navajo Nation has called for an investigation into the deaths of two Native American soldiers who died at the troubled Fort Hood Army base in Texas. Specialist Miguel Yazzie and Pvt. Carlton Chee were stationed at the sprawling installation near Killeen. 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said both deaths must be examined because the families have many questions about what happened to them.

"We spoke with the families of Pvt. Chee and Spc. Yazzie and they have many concerns and questions related to inconsistent information and details provided by military officials," Nez said. "It is very troubling that while they are mourning the loss of their loved ones, they are not receiving adequate and timely factual information regarding the time leading up to their deaths."

Their cases bring the number of deaths this year at the nation's third largest Army base to 28. The base is currently undergoing five separate investigations in the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who went missing from Fort Hood for two months before her dismembered body was found in July.

The base commander was recently removed from his post as the Army examines policies and procedures in the chain of command.

Navajo Nation officials said they have been told by base authorities that the deaths will be looked into.

On July 3,  Yazzie died while stationed at Fort Hood. He enlisted in the Army in 2016, served as an Air Defense Enhanced Early Warning System Operator and was previously stationed in South Korea. There was no other information made public about his death.

Pvt. Chee died on September 2, after collapsing during a training exercise on Aug. 28. According to a GoFundMe page, Chee was a father, and is survived by his two young sons, his fiance, and extended family members.

A congressional investigation of Fort Hood is also underway.

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