The sun rises as members of the Augusta community teamed with U.S. Army Soldiers learn how to properly perform physical readiness training as part of a community event, Augusta in Army Boots, at Fort Gordon, June 11. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ashley M. Armstrong, 35th Signal Brigade (Theater Tactical) Public Affairs/Released)
FORT GORDON (WRDW)- It was during a typical training that soldiers at Fort Gordon realized on of their own was lost, and after a long search the missing soldier was found dead. A tragedy to hit a military community.
“If a solider died it’s an unfortunate situation. It’s sad,” said Captain Jean Jeudy.
A Fort Gordon soldier went missing during land navigation training on post. Almost 100 soldiers and emergency service searched for the missing soldier when he didn’t show up to the designated meeting place Friday afternoon, and it as 10 last night when they found the soldier dead.
“As a soldier to know that another soldier, to know that one of my brothers died. It’s sad. It’s very sad,” said Jeudy.
In land navigation training soldiers are given a map,compass, and points on a grid they have to find. Those points can be anywhere from 500 yards to 2 and a half miles apart. Once they get to the point there’s a marker with a code they have to get. The training is often done in harsh condition like in the rain, or at night, testing a soldier’s ability to maintain direction and pacing.
Captain Jeudy has been through that training himself and says danger is just part of the job.
“Anything can happen. That’s the nature of the job we call up to do,” said Jeudy.
Kenji Link thought soldiers were always safe behind the gates.
“The last place you would expect someone to come up injured or even killed. That’s unbearable to think about,” said Link.
Soldiers says safety is a bigger deal now more than ever, but accidents still happen. There’s been 103 reported military accident fatalities this year nationwide. Link’s father is in the military, and he never worried about him during training, but now, he’ll think twice.
“Now in hindsight I definitely think that. Training, especially something like land nav I would never expect injury or death,” said Link.
The cause of death is still under investigation and an autopsy will be done. Officials say they will not release the soldier’s name until 24 hours after the family is notified. They say they will have more information for us on Monday and as soon as we find out more information we’ll let you know.