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Texas Sen. John Cornyn Calls For Public Hearing On Fort Hood Disappearances, Deaths

WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - U.S. Sen John Cornyn (R-Texas) is calling for a public hearing on the independent review of Fort Hood following the disappearances and deaths of soldiers this year.

Cornyn and U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee to request a hearing on the review of Fort Hood's command and climate.

The review came after the death of Vanessa Guillen, who was reported missing on April 22 but was later found dead on July 1. Officials said she was killed on the base by a fellow soldier. Investigators are looking into allegations that she had been sexually harrassed.

Another soldier, Elder Fernandes, was found dead late last month after being reported as missing. Army officials said he was the victim in a sexual abuse investigation.

In the letter, the senators wrote:

"As parents and United States Senators, we are heartbroken by the deaths of SGT Fernandes, SPC Guillén, and the other U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, and we are determined to seek justice and answers for their families and to ensure the Army is implementing necessary reforms at Fort Hood, and that Congress is holding the Army accountable."

"We believe that an open hearing before the Committee with the panel members, none of whom are affiliated with the Army, followed by Army leadership who can testify to the service's plans for implementing any recommendations provided by the panel, will provide an opportunity to candidly discuss its findings and recommendations and engage in a dialogue on ways that Congress and the Army can ensure a supportive command climate at Fort Hood for all of its soldiers."

The full letter can be read here.

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