Showing posts with label non-combat deaths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non-combat deaths. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2023

It happened again, Fort Hood Female Soldier found dead

Female soldier found dead at Fort Hood, the same Army base in Texas where Vanessa Guillén was murdered

NBC News
By Marlene Lenthang
March 17, 2023
“For the Army to say no foul play presumes facts that have not yet been brought forth. For the Army to say no foul play would also indicate a tone deafness to the concerns of the father and the mother of Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz who stated that she had been the target of alleged sexual harassment — repeated and consistent sexual harassment by other service members up to and including an immediate superior to who she reported,” David Cruz, the Communications Director of LULAC, said.
Ana Fernanda Basaldua Ruiz.Courtesy Basaldua Ruiz family
A female soldier died earlier this week at Fort Hood, the same Army base in Texas where Vanessa Guillén was murdered three years ago, officials said.

Combat engineer Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz died Monday at the base, Fort Hood said in a news release.

Basaldua Ruiz, 20, who was from Long Beach, California, joined the Army in July 2021 and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division since December that year.
read more here

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

580 Service Members Die by Suicide in 2020

580 Service Members Die by Suicide in 2020, New Pentagon Report Says

Air Force Times
By Greg Hadley
Sept. 30, 2021
Fliers are on display during the Suicide Explained and Suicide Intervention training inside the Bay Breeze Event Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Sept. 17, 2021. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue.
Five hundred and eighty service members died by suicide in 2020, the Pentagon announced Sept. 30, when the Defense Department released its annual suicide report.

Those 580 deaths mark the most the DOD has recorded in at least five years, with the Active-duty component accounting for 384, the Reserve for 77, and the National Guard for 119. In the Air Force, 81 Active-duty members, 12 Reservists, and 16 Air National Guard members committed suicide in calendar year 2020, according to the report.

“The findings are troubling. Suicide rates among our service members and military families are still too high, and the trends are not going in the right direction,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement accompanying the release of the report. “This is a paramount challenge for our department. We must redouble our efforts to provide all of our people with the care and the resources they need, to reduce stigmas and barriers to care, and to ensure that our community uses simple safety measures and precautions to reduce the risk of future tragedies.”

While the total numbers increased, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office found that the rate of suicides per 100,000 individuals did not increase by a statistically significant margin from 2019 to 2020, assuaging some fears that the COVID-19 pandemic would lead to a surge.
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As bad as that sounds for last year, the truth is, the military suicides have been averaging 500 a year since 2012.
While reporters are unable to add in the "reserve component" meaning National Guard and Reservists, that is the truth. 

Year after year, they make excuses and make promises as to how serious they are taking the deaths of service members because of their service. Year after year, the numbers prove whatever leaders are paying attention to, they are clearly not paying attention to what the men and women service actually need.

Considering the civilian world has not been able to bring down the numbers, yet the general public seems fixated on veterans committing suicide, ignoring the suicides of those who committed suicide while serving, it is unlikely anything will change for anyone.

Considering what happened at Fort Drum with the 10th Mountain Division. When I posted about three suicides at Fort Drum it was like a dagger to hope that someday, they will finally understand how what leadership has been doing has failed. 

'What are we missing?' Fort Drum seeks answers in wake of successive suicides

By Brian Dwyer
Fort Drum
Sep. 30, 2021

Three recent suicides of soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, which has the lowest suicide rate of any division in the Army, has served as a wake-up call for leaders.

“We’re doing, for a lack of better words, mental gymnastics to think 'what are we missing?' ” 10th Mountain Division Command Sergeant Major Mario Terenas said upon learning three soldiers took their own lives.

Tenth Mountain Division officials were adamant that the days of stigma, being fearful to ask for help with mental health, were gone. Officials also discussed the highest priority the division places on ensuring soldiers get that help they ask for. So when the calls came in two weeks ago for three suicides in three days, it was a massive wake-up call.

“Put simply, suicide is the military in a crisis,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told reporters Thursday.

In her eyes, Gillibrand says more needs to be done regarding mental health stigma within the military. She’s pushing for passage of the Brandon Act, named after a sailor who three years ago took his own life after being bullied by a superior.

The act would trigger help for a military member without alerting those who could retaliate or impact a career. It had been placed in the House's version of the fiscal 2021 Defense Policy bill, but was removed during final deliberations.

“Our service members make sacrifices that we can never forget. It is our obligation to ensure that adequate resources are devoted to taking care of them, our veterans and their families,” Gillibrand said.
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A wake up call they have said they have been hearing for decades! Members of Congress in the last 20 years have done nothing meaning full. All they have done is repeat what didn't work before, spend more money and get their names on Bills, while the troops get their names on gravestones. Nothing more than putting words together for press releases, while families get a pressed, folded flag at the funeral of someone who didn't need to end up there. 

Families still say they don't know what to do to help other families not face the same outcome. How could they when the government, all the way from Congress to the leadership of every branch don't know what to do? How could anyone know what they need to hear, if no one is remember what they already heard for the last 4 decades as Vietnam veterans, Gulf War Veterans and the War on Terror veterans have testified over and over again to members of Congress and Brass?

Monday, June 1, 2020

2 Airmen dead after shooting at Grand Forks

Shooting at Grand Forks Air Force Base leaves two airmen dead

Military Times
Stephen Losey
June 1, 2020

Two active-duty airmen from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing are dead after an early-morning shooting at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota Monday. (Airman 1st Class Brody Katka/Air Force)
Two active-duty airmen from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota are dead after an early-morning shooting at the base.

The base said in a release that the shooting happened at about 4:30 a.m., and that emergency services at the base responded to the scene. Grand Forks said the situation is “contained,” and that there is not believed to be any further risk to personnel.
read it here

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fort Hood soldier shot to death, jeep set on fire

Fort Hood soldier found shot dead near burning Jeep

Army Times
Kyle Rempfer
May 22, 2020

Texas police and Army CID agents are investigating the death of a Fort Hood soldier as a homicide after he was found dead from a gunshot wound roughly 13 miles from post on Monday.
Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, 27, was identifed as the victim by local police and post officials. (Army)

Harker Heights police officers identified 27-year-old Pfc. Brandon Scott Rosecrans as the victim in their murder investigation and also the owner of an orange 2016 Jeep Renegade that was found along with the deceased.

The vehicle was on fire when it was first reported to police, officers said, and it was later confirmed to belong to Rosecrans. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Harker Heights fire marshal, police said.
read it here

Friday, May 1, 2020

Marine died of COVID-19 within days of feeling sick

‘Just loved serving his country’: Marine with Houston ties remembered after dying of coronavirus

Brandon Walker, Reporter
May 1, 2020

HOUSTON – Staff Sgt. Robert Mendoza was among the few and the proud.
“He just loved serving his country and he was willing to die for his country,” said Yolanda Mendoza, his mother.

Staff Sgt. Mendoza survived war. His assignments took him to Afghanistan in the months following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He braved multiple tours of Iraq. However, it wasn’t the battlefield that lay claim to his life. Mendoza fell victim to COVID-19.

Within days of feeling symptoms, he died at a hospital in San Diego, California — home base since enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1994.

“I don’t even know where to begin with Robert. He knew since middle school he wanted to be a United States Marine,” Yolanda Mendoza said.
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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Navy Flight Surgeon James Mazzuchelli continued to save lives after he died

Their Son’s Heart Saved His Life. So He Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet Them.
Jan 24, 2020

What she did not yet know was the way those heavy words would ripple outward like a stone dropping into a still pond: allowing a man to return to work, a veteran to get his health back, and an ailing cyclist to get back on his bike. And how those little waves would slowly smooth out the edges of her own grief.

Lt. James Mazzuchelli in an undated photograph. Courtesy U.S. Navy
It took several drafts to get the letters right. To capture her boy who, just a few short months before, had been so full of life, energy, and love. To distill him into the two dimensionality of words on paper.

Three weeks earlier, the thread that held Christine Cheers’s world together had been ripped clean away, sending her whole life spinning like an off-balance top. On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, someone on the other end of the phone had said the words that bring any parent to their knees: “There’s been an accident.”

Her son, 32-year-old Navy flight surgeon James Mazzuchelli had been injured in a helicopter training mission at Camp Pendleton. If she wanted to see him while he was still alive, she needed to get on the next flight from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Diego—and she needed to pray.

James was still breathing when Christine and her husband, David, arrived at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, the next morning. But it soon became clear that his condition would not improve. Machines were keeping him alive, and the doctors told Christine that what she was seeing was likely his future—that her scuba-diving, world-traveling, over-achiever of a son was never going to wake up.
read it here

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Traffic stop suicide claimed life of young Marine after 3 tours

Marine who fatally shot himself during Chesterfield traffic stop had struggled with alcohol use

Richmond Times Dispatch
Mark Bowes
Jan 14, 2020
Childress, who joined the Marines after graduating from high school in 2013, had served three deployments overseas, according to his obituary notice. It couldn’t immediately be discerned where overseas he served.
Sgt. Shawn Childress, 24, graduated in 2013 from Manchester High School.
Family photo through Bliley Funeral Home
A young Marine sergeant from Chesterfield County who fatally shot himself early New Year’s Day during a traffic stop in Midlothian had been struggling with alcohol and was detained previously for a mental health commitment order, according to his wife and the authorities.

Sgt. Shawn Childress, 24, a Manchester High School graduate who was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., pulled a handgun and shot himself about 1:15 a.m. Jan. 1 after a Chesterfield officer stopped him for suspicion of drunken driving on Midlothian Turnpike near Courthouse Road, police said.
read it here

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Offutt Air Force Base Servicemember and Spouse Found Dead

2 dead in shooting near Offutt identified as active-duty service member, spouse

Omaha World Herald
By Kevin Cole and Jessica Wade / World-Herald staff writers
1 hr ago

Offutt Air Force Base officials have confirmed that two people died Saturday night in a shooting in a base community.
An active-duty service member from Offutt and their spouse died, a spokesman for the Air Force base said Sunday. The bodies were discovered about 8:15 p.m. in Rising View, Offutt’s privatized housing area in Bellevue.

Law enforcement officials from Offutt and Sarpy County responded to a call from the home, the spokesman said. The names of the deceased are being held pending notification of the next of kin.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations detachment at Offutt is leading the investigation. A post on the Offutt-based 55th Wing's Facebook page by Col. Gavin P. Marks, commander of the wing, confirmed the deaths.
read it here

Friday, August 23, 2019

After Captain died, Eglin Air Force changed physical fitness test

Eglin Curtails Run Portion of PT Test After Captain's Death
By Oriana Pawlyk
22 Aug 2019
"I am deeply saddened over Tranay's death," said Lt. Col. Timothy Stevens, AFOTEC commander, in the release. "The pain of her absence has touched each and every one of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tranay's family, her friends and our fellow airmen during this difficult time."

Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.

Capt. Tranay Lashawn Tanner, 29, was transported to the Eglin Hospital on Saturday morning with health complications, according to a base news release. Tanner, assigned to the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC), Detachment 2, was later moved to the Fort Walton Medical Center due to the "serious nature of her condition." She died Saturday afternoon.
read it here

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Active duty member of military found dead

Frederick police: Man found outside garage ruled a suicide

Frederick News Post
By Jeremy Arias
Jun 24, 2019
Detectives later used video surveillance to determine that the man fell from the third floor of the garage and his death was ruled a suicide, Alcorn said. The man was described only as 37 years old and an active-duty member of the U.S. military.

A man who died Monday after police found him injured on Sunday outside a garage in downtown Frederick was eventually ruled a suicide, according a police supervisor.

The man was discovered by a passer-by shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday just outside the Carroll Creek parking deck, according to Sgt. Andrew Alcorn, supervisor of the Frederick Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division. The man was still alive and was taken to a hospital, where he was stabilized long enough for his family members to arrive from out of state, Alcorn said.
read it here

Monday, July 1, 2019

Green Beret from Utah died in Afghanistan

Utah soldier dies in Afghanistan

Deseret News Utah
Jasen Lee
Published: July 1, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — A decorated soldier from Ogden has died while serving in the Middle East.

Sgt. 1st Class Elliott Robbins, 31, died Sunday in a noncombat incident in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while serving in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, according to a Pentagon report. The incident is under investigation.
A Green Beret, Robbins was assigned to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Airborne Group in Fort Carson, Colorado.

His parents said he was deployed in January — his third tour in the Middle East — and was set to return to Utah any day. Robbins leaves behind a wife and an infant son.

His father, Freeman Robbins, was a career Army man himself and said some of that military dedication may have rubbed off on his son. He said his son was proud of his country and proud to serve it.

"What can a parent say? I mean, they're proud that their child does well in what he does," Freeman Robbins said. "He was an Army medic and saved a lot of lives. How can you not be proud of something like that?"

Freeman Robbins says his son served with valor, earning multiple awards. He admitted that at times it was difficult to read about why he Sgt. Robbins received the awards — knowing he was put into some very dangerous situations.
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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Soldiers Died by Suicide at Arizona-Mexico Border

Official: Soldiers Died by Suicide at Arizona-Mexico Border

The Associated Press
28 Jun 2019
Officials say 20-year-old Pfc. Steven Hodges of Menifee, California, died June 1 near Nogales, and 21-year-old Pfc. Kevin Christian of Haslet, Texas, died Sunday in Ajo, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Nogales.

TUCSON, Ariz. — A medical examiner says two soldiers helping secure the Mexico border in Arizona died by suicide.

Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Greg Hess said Thursday the soldiers died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
read more here

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Columbus Air Force Base Major drowned on cruise ship

Air Force Major Drowns in Pool Aboard Cruise Ship

Sun Sentinel
By Ron Hurtibise
18 Jun 2019

An Air Force major drowned in a Caribbean Princess cruise ship pool Friday morning, the Broward Medical Examiner's Office said.

Stephen Osakue, 37, worked for the Air Force as a research pharmacist, according to a statement by the Medical Examiner's Office on Monday. Osakue was based at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.

In an email statement, Princess Cruises spokesman Nagin Kamali said Osakue was found unresponsive in one of the ship's swimming pools about 5:15 a.m. Friday as the ship, which sails out of Port Everglades, was on the sixth day of a seven-day Western Caribbean voyage.

The ship's medical personnel were unable to revive him, Kamali said. "Appropriate authorities were notified and conducted an investigation. A final determination is pending, however authorities have indicated that this incident appears to be accidental."
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Remains of missing Marines found

Team recovers remains of US Marine aviators killed in midair collision off Japan

Published: June 10, 2019

TOKYO — Salvagers have recovered human remains from an area of the Philippine Sea where two U.S. military aircraft crashed on Dec. 6, the III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement Monday.

A KC-130J Super Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 takes off from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, July 15, 2014. LUIS RODRIGUEZ/U.S. MARINE CORPS
Five crew members of a KC-130J tanker and the pilot of an F/A-18 Hornet were killed in a midair collision during nighttime training off Japan’s southern coast. The Hornet’s weapons officer was the sole survivor.

A search by U.S. and Japanese forces for the lost aviators that spanned 35,000 square nautical miles was called off Dec. 11.
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Monday, June 10, 2019

Former National Guardsman from Florida Died in Alaska

Alaska Army National Guard soldier dies in Copper River

San Francisco Chronicle
June 10, 2019

Before joining the Alaska Army National Guard, Hepler was in the Florida Army National Guard from 2001 to 2004.

GLENNALLEN, Alaska (AP) — A 35-year-old Alaska Army National Guard soldier from Fort Greely died when he fell into the Copper River while dipnetting for salmon.

Alaska State Troopers say the body of Sgt. 1st Class Russell Hepler was recovered.

Alaska Army National Guard officials say Hepler was a full-time soldier in the 49th Missile Defense Battalion's military police company at Fort Greely.
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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Peterson Air Force Base Member's Death Under Investigation in Arizona

Military service member assigned to border mission found dead, foul play not suspected

Associated Press
June 2, 2019

NOGALES, Ariz. — Authorities say a military service member assigned to the Southwest Border Support Mission has died in southern Arizona.
Layers of concertina are added to existing barrier infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, Ariz., Feb. 4, 2019. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Officials at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said in a statement that the military service member was found dead Saturday near Nogales.
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Days after becoming 1st LT, tragic loss for Camp Pendleton couple

After military vehicle accident kills Marine from Maryland, love story turns into tragedy

Associated Press
June 2, 2019

But on Thursday, May 9, no message came. Kathleen grew more nervous as the hours rolled by. She used an app to check his location, and it kept showing that his phone was in an office. By 2:30 a.m. the next morning, the phone's location had not changed.

This Aug. 18, 2018, photo provided by Kathleen Bourque shows Conor McDowell and Kathleen Bourque. The couple's love story ended in tragedy when the military vehicle McDowell was riding in flipped over and killed him in May 2019. (Kathleen Bourque via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One day in March 2018, a profile on the dating app Hinge caught Kathleen Bourque's eye. The photo showed Conor McDowell, a tall, bright-eyed Citadel cadet in uniform. He was at a ring ceremony, his mother by his side.

Kathleen, then 21, was moved to send Conor a message: "This is honestly such a beautiful photo."

It was three months before she heard back from him.

"He said, 'I'm so sorry, I just finished the infantry officer course for the Marine Corps,' " Kathleen recalled. "He said his friend had set up his (Hinge) profile for him and he was still figuring out how it worked."

The two of them texted back and forth for hours that night, conversing about their shared Irish heritage and a common passion: the need for better mental health care in the military.

The next night, they had their first phone conversation. Conor, a former Chestertown resident, was visiting a friend in Rhode Island. Kathleen had just graduated from Loyola University in Baltimore, where she had studied mental health in the military, and she was living with her parents in Salisbury.

From 10:30 p.m. until 6 a.m., they talked about their childhoods, their families, their dreams. Night after night, the marathon phone conversations went on like that.

"He was just so genuine, you felt you could open up to him about anything and everything," Kathleen said.
On Tuesday, she got a call from Conor, who had just gotten good news at Camp Pendleton: He'd been promoted to first lieutenant. But he didn't want to put on his new pin yet. He wanted to wait until he was back home with Kathleen so that she could do it.

"I only have a couple of seconds to talk," she recalled him telling her. "But I want to tell you how much I love you. How much I miss you."
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

USS Arlington investigating death of female sailor

update Navy IDs Officer Who Died Aboard the Arlington; NCIS Probe Continues

Navy officials have identified the woman who died aboard a ship during a port stop in Spain as Lt. Kaylie Ludwig. Ludwig, a medical corps officer, was found unresponsive aboard the amphibious transport dock ship Arlington on Tuesday. She was later pronounced dead aboard the ship.

NCIS Investigating Sailor's Death Aboard Navy Ship Deployed to Europe
Gina Harkins
May 23, 2019

An investigation is underway aboard a Navy ship after a sailor was found dead during a stop in Spain.
The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) operates in the Atlantic Ocean (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Roys)

A sailor assigned to the amphibious transport dock Arlington was found unresponsive on Tuesday, said Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a spokesman for U.S. 6th Fleet. The sailor was later pronounced dead aboard the ship, he added.

The person's identity has not been released, pending family notification. Navy Times is reporting the sailor was a woman.
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Monday, May 13, 2019

"No rank is immune to suicide"

Corps Investigating After Marine O-5 Dies Days Before Retirement

Task and Purpose 
By Paul Szoldra 
May 10 2019 

The Marine Corps is investigating the death of Lt. Col. Brett A. Hart, the executive officer of Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One, who was found dead at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma on April 19, a Corps spokesman told Task and Purpose.
"There is an open investigation into the incident," Capt. Christopher Harrison told Task and Purpose. "Further details will be available once the investigation is complete."

Hart, 48, was just days from retirement after 30 years of service when he took his own life, according to multiple sources. He left behind a wife, son and daughter. A memorial service for Hart was held at the Yuma Chapel on April 26, the same day his retirement ceremony had been scheduled.

"No rank is immune to suicide, not even an O-5 in the Marine Corps with over 30 years of service and one week away from retirement," Marine veteran Samuel Grayman wrote in a public post on Facebook. "RIP Lt. Col Brett A. Hart, it was an honor to serve under your command at VMMT-204."
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Friday, May 10, 2019

U.S. sailor found in Sasebo park after apparent suicide

update from

The Navy has released the identity of a 21-year-old gunner's mate found dead late Thursday in a public park outside Sasebo Naval Base, Japan. Petty Officer 3rd Class Chase Edwards, of Euless, Texas, was assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, which is homeported at Sasebo.

Body likely belonging to U.S. sailor found in Sasebo park after apparent suicide

MAY 10, 2019

NAGASAKI (TR) – Nagasaki Prefectural Police are investigating what is being treated as a suicide after the discovery of the body of a man believed to be a member of the U.S. Navy at a park in Sasebo City early Friday, reports the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (May 10).

At around 11:35 p.m. on Thursday, personnel at the Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo base contacted the Sasebo Police Station to report the disappearance of a male member of the U.S. military “who talked about suicide.”

At around midnight, the body of a foreign man, clothed in a gray jacket, was discovered in a park adjoining the base with a gunshot wound to the head. A pistol was found in one of his hands, police said.

Police are now working to confirm the identity of the body.
read more here