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Mother of Fort Hood soldier found dead reacts to recent investigation

Posted at 11:34 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 10:59:52-05

SAPULPA, Okla. — Major changes announced at Fort Hood, one of the nation’s largest military bases.

READ MORE: 14 Fort Hood leaders disciplined after Army investigation finds 'major flaws' in assault reporting

In an announcement on Tuesday officials said 14 officers and soldiers were either fired or suspended after an investigation into the base where more than 20 soldiers died in the past year alone.

This news is affecting one Sapulpa family. The family is still searching for answers after their son, Gregory Morales, died while stationed there.

“I don’t know that anyone will ever get justice from any of this," said Kim Wedel, Morales' mother. "I don’t know that we’ll ever get any answers.”

Wedel said she watched the military’s press conference, hoping for a moment that would make her feel a little better, but instead she said it left her with more questions.

“I kept waiting for more," she said. "I was like, there has to be more to this. How does the general public even know that these 14 are really the people who should be let go or fired?”

Wedel is still seeking justice for her son. Morales disappeared from Fort Hood in Aug. 2019. His remains were found in a shallow grave ten months later.

At the time, the military listed Morales as AWOL until his family fought for change.

READ MORE: Family's fight to have fallen soldier's status changed pays off

Wedel remembers the last time she saw her son.

“He just said it’s been really hard," she said. "So as far as what may have happened to him down there, I don’t know. He wouldn’t have wanted me to worry. Which is part of the reason I knew he didn’t just disappear and leave.”

Results of an independent review of the base cited many problems including “leadership failures” and an environment where soldiers are reluctant to report problems. The Army now vowing to make changes.

"Change is required at every level and every echelon to improve trust," said Lt. Gen. Pat White, Fort Hood Base Commander.

These changes, not enough for Wedel, who still wants to know how her son died. But she hopes others won’t have to go through what he did.

“I guess if it took his death to save others that’s what he would have wanted," Wedel said. "He would have done that.”

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