Some may think the Texas flood is just a little rain, but the state has been receiving more water than it can take. Counties have been evacuated and people have been claimed by the flood waters. Nine of our service men and women were just taken. See how it happened.
These are the faces of the Fort Hood drowning tragedy, pictured for the first time today after they were identified by the military.
The group ranges from a four-time veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and father-of-one, to a cadet not due to graduate West Point until 2018.
Staff Sergeant Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, from New York, and Cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, from Indiana, both drowned after their armored truck rolled into a river.
Also among those killed was Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, a former homecoming queen who had only served in the military for seven months before her death.
Private First Class Zachery Fuller, 23, from Florida and Private Tysheena James, 21, from New Jersey, also joined active service around the same time as Gates, in November last year.
Private Isaac Deleon, from Texas, was the youngest to die at age 19 and had also only served for around seven months at the time of the accident.
Special Christine Armstrong, 27, from California, and Private First Class Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida, who joined active service in 2014, were also killed.
Officials later identified the final victim as Yingming Sun, a 25-year-old Army specialist from California. They had been waiting until his family were informed before naming him.
Three survivors were released from hospital on Friday and have since returned to duty.
Investigators say they still do not know what caused the vehicle to flip over as it crossed a creek on Fort Hood Army post in central Texas on Thursday.
Military chiefs have also not revealed why the group were traveling close to the swollen river at a time when the base was closing flood-hit roads.
Paying tribute to Gates yesterday, Gates’ father said: ‘She put someone else before herself.
‘She wanted to serve her country with a smile. She wanted to serve in 20 years in the service.’
Five soldiers were found dead on Thursday after the two-and-a-half ton truck flipped over in Owl Creek at the base.
Four more soldiers were unaccounted for after the tragic accident, but their bodies were found further downstream on Friday – taking the death toll to nine.
Their remains were discovered after a lengthy search by military helicopters and boats.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter gave his condolences to Rae’Laruin’s family and the families of those killed in Thursday’s accident.
The Combat Readiness Center’s experts will examine the scene of the Fort Hood accident and evaluate the factors that caused the deaths.