Communities across the United States have reported a spike in violent crime in recent months — and military bases are not immune.
The Fort Hood Army base in Texas, for example, has gained an unenviable reputation over the past few years because of a string of incidents involving soldiers who disappear or are found dead. Another such case was reported earlier this month.
Deceased soldier identified
According to Fox News, a soldier was discovered unresponsive behind his barracks over the weekend and was subsequently pronounced dead.
It was unclear from available reports how he died and the incident is said to be under investigation.
The Fort Hood Press Center issued a statement on Wednesday identifying the deceased soldier as 26-year-old Spc. Maxwell Hockin.
He joined the Army in 2017 as a combat engineer and was assigned to the 91st Engineer Battalion, which is part of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Over the course of a brief career, he reportedly received a number of commendations, including the Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
A string of soldier deaths
Batallion Commander Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan confirmed the sad news in a statement of his own.
“The entire Saber family is devastated by the loss of our true teammate and friend Specialist Maxwell Hockin,” he wrote. “He had an outstanding work ethic, was a mentor to his peers, and was always willing to help out the team. He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Maxwell’s family during this difficult time.”
Hockin’s death is reportedly being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigation Command.
Days earlier, investigators had pursued reports that another soldier had gone missing from the base, but Spc. Jennifer Sewell has since been located by her family and safely returned to duty.
With more than two dozen soldier deaths at Fort Hood last year alone, the Army has launched an independent review to determine how such incidents are being investigated by personnel at the base. One of the most notable incidents involved the murder and dismemberment of Spc. Vanessa Guillen, whose suspected killer, Spc. Aaron Robinson, took his own life as authorities attempted to arrest him.