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Navajo Tribal Members Among 28 Service Member Fatalities This Year At Fort Hood

Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

Two Navajo Nation tribal members are among more than two dozen fatalities of military service members at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas this year. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, tribal leadership is calling for a congressional investigation.

Army Spc. Miguel Yazzie died in July while stationed at Fort Hood. He enlisted in 2016 and was an air defense early warning system operator. Pvt. Carlton Chee collapsed during a training exercise and died last week at a hospital. He joined the Army in February as a tank crewman.

Credit Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President
Army Spc. Miguel D. Yazzie died in July at Fort Hood.

According to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, the men’s families say U.S. Army officials haven’t provided them with consistent or complete information. He also says the relatives suspect foul play in the deaths of Yazzie and Chee.

They’re the most recent in a string of fatalities at Fort Hood among service members. Nearly 30 have occurred this year. The base has a high rate of sexual assault, murder and other crimes. The Army has begun an independent review of the base.

This week the U.S. House Armed Services and Oversight committees announced investigations into the Fort Hood deaths.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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