TEHRAN (Iran News) – THREE suicides, in TWO days, at ONE U.S. Army Division. The 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army at Fort Drum, New York, reported the suspicious death of three U.S. soldiers within 48 hours.
According to the Military News report, one of these soldiers was a member of the last U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan. Tyler Thomas, a 21-year-old Signal Support specialist from Texas, died September 16. The next day, two other soldiers also died: Angel Green, 24, of Barstow, California, and Sika Tapueluelu, 26, of Washington.
10th Mountain is still investigating the cause of death, but Lt. Col. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for the Division, said it is believed all three died of self-harm.
Angel Green, who was serving in the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, had recently returned from Afghanistan on September 6. Green and his unit were in Kabul during the last traumatic final days of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the 10th Mountain Division said troops from the Division were present at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and left the airport during the final days of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. This was Angel Green’s second deployment to Afghanistan. He was also had been deployed to Qatar once.
The three deaths in a row have added to the military’s difficulties in reducing the death toll and suicide risk among service members and veterans. Earlier this year, a study at Brown University found that more than four times as many troops and veterans who had served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had died by suicide as were directly killed in the conflicts.
In a release, Major general Milford Beagle urged soldiers to reach out on their own behalf if they were having troubles.
“To the soldiers of Fort Drum, the 10th Mountain Division, and our entire Army, I want you to know every life is worth living!” he wrote. “If you have problems, challenges, or issues, there is help available from this chain of command all the way down to help you get the resources you need. Do not suffer in silence.”
“10th Mountain shouldered some of the heaviest burdens of the Afghanistan War. For nearly 20 years, soldiers from the Division were either deployed there or preparing to deploy.” He added.