Distraught family gets help from lawmaker

HOUSTON The family of August Provost, III, believes the death could be a hate crime since the victim was gay and African-American. They're calling for more to be done to find out the details behind his murder.

Provost was laid to rest on Friday at Houston's National Cemetery, but his family still has so many unanswered questions and quite visible pain.

"My son, he went there to honor and protect, but no one protected him," said Melanie Provost, the sailor's mother. "He had a heart of gold."

Provost's family says they've been told he was shot five times and his guard shack set on fire at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.

"I just want answers," said Provost. "If you didn't like my son, you should have just walked away."

Provost and his family are residents of the 18th district, where Sheila Jackson Lee serves. The congresswoman is asking Secretary Gates for a Department of Defense investigation. She's also requesting reviews by the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees.

"We're here to ask the Navy to tell the truth. We're asking the military to tell the truth. We're asking them to make themselves better," said Jackson Lee. "No civilian could realize you could penetrate a military base that easily."

Relatives of the seaman want to know if race or sexual orientation were motives. And they want to know why the 29-year-old would be assigned solo guard duty on base.

"I don't understand why. I need those answers," said Provost. "And don't beat around the bush and tell me because my son was doing what he was supposed to do."

As for the investigation, the Navy has detained a person of interest. They also found a gun they believe was used in the killing.

Jackson Lee will request a meeting with the Navy and will also request a hearing.

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