Army investigates 2 deaths at hospital

April 17, 2009 5:22:34 PM PDT
The deaths of two soldiers recovering at one of the Army's top medical facilities are being investigated by criminal investigators after both men apparently died in their sleep. Criminal Intelligence Division investigations and autopsies have been ordered for Chief Warrant Officer Judson Erik Mount, who died April 7, and Spc. Craig Reginald Hamilton, who died March 27, the San Antonio Express-News reported Friday. Both men were being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, the headquarters for Army medicine.

The soldiers were assigned to Army warrior transition units, a system designed to improve medical care for wounded soldiers after the Army was criticized for shoddy outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center several years ago.

Army surgeon general Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker told the House Armed Services Committee last year that "we're seeing a pattern" of overdoses and suicides in the units, though Army officials declined to give details on the deaths of Mount and Hamilton, citing the ongoing probe.

Hamilton, 35, of Milford, N.H., was injured at Fort Sill, Okla. Mount, 37, suffered extensive blast wounds in Iraq. Both were long-term patients at BAMC.

Mount's mother, Joyce Mount, said her son was having nightly flashbacks involving a fellow soldier killed in the blast, but he seemed to be doing better before his death.

Hamilton's mother, Kareen Hamilton of Lincoln, N.H., said she was aware of the investigation but had not been provided information on her son's injuries or death. She said the family was told they would know more in four to six weeks.

Both men were found deceased in their beds on post.

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