Richard Halliday, the first DUSTWUN/Missing soldier in the Continental U.S. has been missing since July 23, 2020, from Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas. For over a year his family has been fighting for the U.S. Army to take his disappearance seriously.
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On August 28, 2020, the family of the missing solder, Richard Halliday, made a phone call that would turn their world upside down. After not hearing from their son for a little over a month the soldier's father, an Army veteran with over 30 years of service, called his son's command hoping to get in touch with his son. To his shock was told by the emotional battery commander that Richard Halliday was reported as “AWOL” on July 24, 2020, but his status had changed to deserter; nobody had seen or heard from him in 36 days. The soldier's family was shocked. Richard's sister called the El Paso police department to file a missing person's report but was denied because Richard was not in their jurisdiction. The family then called the Military Police (MP), and were told that they were keeping an eye out for him, but said nothing of an investigation or if anything had been done to find the missing soldier. The family later learned that even the MPs were involved in the smear campaigne against Richard.
The family were not quite sure what to do. However, after many phone calls with the battery commander and Military Police (MP) it was clear that the Army believed Richard to have left on his own accord and did not intend to investigate his disappearance. Thus, the family turned to social media hoping to gain enough attention that news media would be obliged to report on the missing soldier and his family's desperate situation. Richard's sister's Instagram/Facebook post got 45,000 shares and along with the many likes and shares of posts from other family members. Shortly after U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) called the Halliday family and informed them that they were taking over Richard's case from the Military Police. So the investigation began.
Now over a year and 80 subpoenas and warrants there is no evidence that he left the Ft. Bliss barracks, no evidence of criminal activity on his part, and no sign of life. However, on the Army's part there is a lot of silence, diversions, and deception. Not only did the Army stage a task force when they met with Ricard's parents but multiple baseless rumors (pimping, drugs, etc.) were allowed to spread and circulate on Fort Bliss. There is also evidence that Richard's leaders destroyed his military career and reputation with groundless accusations (border crossing, disobeying orders, etc.); which have all been debunked by the family and reports from CID.
This volunteer soldier is the most scrutinized missing soldier and the first officially designated DUSTWUN/Missing under the Absent Soldier Flowchart (after Vanessa Guillen).
Since the investigation began the Army has changed their policy on missing soldiers and on November 25, 2020, Halliday's unit changed his status to “Duty Status-Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN)” and later to “Missing” on December 5, 2020. He is the first Continental US (CONUS) soldier to be listed as “Missing” under this new policy.