Ana Basaldua’s Friends Speak Out About Alleged Harassment She Endured at Fort Hood
Friends and family members of Ana Basaldua, the 20-year-old soldier who died by hanging at the controversial Texas military base Fort Hood, are speaking out about her apparent suicide.
Army claims “no foul play” but Basaldua’s friends and family claim otherwise
Although the military claims there was “no foul play” involved in Basaldua’s death, some of the soldier’s friends say the story just doesn’t add up. Basaldua, a combat engineer, arrived at the base 15 months ago as part of the 1st Calvary Division.
An anonymous friend who met Basaldua at a training base in Fort Leonard, Missouri in 2021 told Telemundo, “None of that seemed right to her, but even so, they are orders that she had to follow.” Upon her arrival at Fort Hood, Basaldua met a sergeant who helped get her acquainted for the first few months.
However, when Basaldua started making other friends on the base, he became extremely territorial and jealous. Referring to her by her nickname, Basa, the friend said, “As time passed Basa began to make friends and all that. He was getting annoyed, he was jealous, he said things to her, and well, Basa didn’t care.”
WATCH: Another female soldier discusses Basaldua’s death
Things escalated from there as the sergeant “would unexpectedly come to her room, knock on her door, text her why she was hanging out with people, that she didn’t have to hang out with anyone other than be him.” Eventually, Basaldua reported the sergeant, speaking to “her platoon sergeant” and telling them “what was happening.”
“That’s when they called him to the office,” the friend said. However, the officials at the base did not officially reprimand him outside of “an argument that remained between them.”
Basaldua reported her sergeant, but the base transferred her
Instead, they transferred Basaldua from second to third platoon.
“She didn’t want to get in trouble or anything like that,” Basaldua’s friend said. “But she reported it. Supposedly they were going to take away that sergeant’s rank, but they didn’t finish taking it off. He continued there in the same company. The only thing they did was move Basa to a different platoon.”
The sergeant reportedly yelled out “very ugly” towards her in conversation with other soldiers. “He was saying things to her in front of other people,” the friend said, “and that’s really when they took action. About two months later they changed her.”
WATCH: A recent news report about Basaldua’s death
She remained in contact with her friend after the transfer
Although Basaldua ended up in another platoon, she stayed in contact with her friend. They spoke, “not only through regular messages, but also through Snapchat, Instagram,” they said. “We told each other everything. She was my best friend. She told me everything that happened to her and I told her everything about me, too.”
After Fort Hood transferred Basaldua to the third platoon, the sergeant ended up at a military school for NCOs (non-commissioned officers) on the base. Despite that, he continued to harass Basaldua.
“She told me that she did not know what else to do. Because she already I had told them, she had already told her sergeant, she had also told the commander, that’s supposed to be why they made the complete change. But even so, she was still going through it,” her friend told Telemundo.
Eventually, Fort Hood transferred the sergeant in question in August 2022. His transfer was officially a result of “regular orders,” Basaldua’s friend said.
Even after the sergeant’s transfer, the harassment continued
Basaldua’s friend told another story about a different soldier on the base. This time, another soldier and friend of Basaldua’s confirmed the story, as well. Apparently, another solider at Fort Hood tried to suffocate Basaldua just weeks before her death.
“I knew it was abusive because he had choked her and everything,” the other anonymous friend said. Despite her telling him to stop, “he just mocked and laughed at it as if it were a game.” Even after Basaldua tried to create some distance between them, “he kept sending her messages.”
Friends rule out suicide because Basaldua had plans to return home
According to her friends, all Basaldua wanted was to “end her time here well and leave it behind and start life.” The soldier had no plans to renew her Fort Hood contract in August and was even preparing for a two-week leave of absence to visit her father in Long Beach, California.
To those who knew her, killing herself so close to the trip and her eventual release from Fort Hood seemed incomprehensible. The friend who explained Basaldua’s intentions to leave Fort Hood as soon as possible told her, “If you need something, call me, call me, call me. You are not alone here.”
The two even planned be in California together while Basaldua was on leave. “I know she was going through things, but she was going to California with me next month. She told me that she had bought her flight for March 31 to go to California.”
According to a 2020 report from the Pentagon, the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee identified an “ineffective implementation of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program that resulted in a pervasive lack of confidence, fear of retaliation, and significant underreporting of cases, particularly within the enlisted ranks.”
They also categorized Fort Hood as having “a deficient climate.”
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