Military

Fort Sam Houston

The Army is reducing its personnel by about 25 percent over the next four years. And it’s going to have an impact on San Antonio.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009, after he walked off his military outpost in southeastern Afghanistan. In a controversial move and five years after his capture, the Obama administration cut a deal with the Taliban, securing Bergdahl's release in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Courtesy: Fort Hood Sentinel

Operation United Assistance has come to a close for more than 500 members of the 36th Engineer Brigade, who have completed the 21-day quarantine at Fort Hood after returning from West Africa over the last few weeks.

Lt. Col. John Hartke said that as soon as they arrived in Liberia last October, the troops began building 100-bed treatment facilities to help stem the tide of Ebola.

“The country’s still recovering from their civil war, and they don’t have a very strong medical infrastructure. So by creating these Ebola treatment centers — and there was one built in every county in the country —it provided an infrastructure for the people who were infected with Ebola, or even suspected of being infected with Ebola, a place to go so that we could stop the transmission,” he said.

Hartke said that at its peak, the mission had 750 beds available, but that number was reduced as the incidence of the disease started to decline.

He believed it was the first time for such a coordinated disease response by the U.S. Army. “I’ve been in the Army 27 years and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this where we’ve gone and responded in this way. We’ve responded to natural disasters like Haiti before, but to target a disease, this is the first one I’m aware of,” he said.

EL PASO — Documents recently released to a newspaper show a high-ranking officer at Fort Bliss was fired for misusing a government-issued credit card after buying two dinners for a woman while traveling on Army business.

The El Paso Times says the details of garrison commander Col. Thomas Munsey’s termination were released Thursday in response to an open records request.

The Army documents also show Munsey failed to register his privately owned weapons with the Provost Marshal’s Office within 72 hours of arriving at Fort Bliss.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

TEMPLE — The family of a Central Texas veteran who committed suicide is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming a VA hospital should have involuntarily held him for treatment.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that a March 12 lawsuit alleges Kevin Lee Hartbarger committed suicide in 2012 hours after seeking help at the Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center in Temple.

The complaint alleges staffers at the hospital failed to “timely diagnose suicidal behavior and obtain involuntary hold to allow for treatment” through a court order.

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