29 August 2007 at 8:41:53 AM
About the Fort Hood soldier who disappeared during training and was found dead.
Army Sgt. Lawrence Sprader set out under the searing Texas sun on a map-reading exercise, carrying a cellphone in case he got hopelessly lost or fell ill in the hills and ravines of Fort Hood. And still he didn't make it out alive.
For more than an hour on June 8, a disoriented and dehydrated Sgt. Sprader used his phone to repeatedly call superiors and tell them of his plight. The 24-year-old Iraq war veteran's decomposing body was discovered four days later in the thick underbrush.
A 1,700-page Army investigative report, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, details a multitude of procedural violations, judgment errors and alleged acts of misconduct by Army trainers that not only contributed to Sgt. Sprader's death but also put 300 other soldiers in danger that day, including about two dozen who required medical attention for heat-related illnesses.
Army officials last week announced they have suspended the officers in charge of the leadership-training academy that ran the exercise. Their lawyer said seven soldiers were reprimanded and another was demoted for lying about the timing of his last phone communication with Sgt. Sprader. They could face criminal charges.
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