A Fort Hood soldier has died following a boating incident over the weekend, the installation announced on Tuesday, the latest in a series of deaths involving service members assigned to the base.
Spc. Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, 24, died in a boating incident on Sunday on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, a Fort Hood press release said in an announcement that his body had been recovered.
His death is currently under investigation by local authorities
Hernandez, who was from Woodside, New York, entered the Army in May 2017 as an automatic rifleman and has been assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since December 2017.
“The Black Knight family is heartbroken by the loss of Spc. Francisco Hernandez. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong, commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, said in the press release. “Spc. Hernandez served his country honorably both stateside while at Fort Hood and abroad in Korea and Romania and this tragic loss is felt by every member within our formation.”
Hernandez's awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Army Good Conduct Medal, among others.
Fort Hood is one of the largest Army installations in the U.S. and has come under increased scrutiny in recent months after the April disappearance of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, whose remains were found in July.
Hernandezvargas is the second soldier to have died near the lake in less than a month. Pvt. Mejhor Morta, 26, was found unresponsive in the lake's vicinity on July 17.
He is the eighth soldier this year to die in a non-combat related incident on or around Fort Hood.