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Soldier, 24, who was among last to leave Afghanistan during catastrophic US withdrawal is one of three suspected suicides in two days being investigated at Fort Drum army base

 Three soldiers at an army base in New York are suspected to have died by suicide within just 48 hours, with one of them being among the last of the troops to leave Afghanistan just one month ago. 

Pfc. Tyler Thomas, 21, Spc. Sika Tapueluelu, 26, and Staff Sgt. Angel Green, 24, assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, all died within two days of each other in mid-September at Fort Drum army base in New York. 

Staff Sgt. Green, Green, an infantryman assigned to 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment (The Polar Bears), 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was one of the last soldiers to return home during the chaotic and bloody US pull out of Afghanistan at the end of August and didn't return to New York until September 6.

Pfc. Thomas died on September 16, before Staff Sgt. Green and Spc. Sika Tapueluelu died a day later.

Major Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., division commander, declared he is committed to discovering the reasons behind his soldiers' deaths which were officially announced by a Fort Drum spokesperson on September 19.  

'Immediately when we have a situation when a Soldier is suspected of taking their own life, we want to know the trigger,' the commander said in a statement. 

'What are the underlying challenges that contributed to the decision to harm themselves? We want to know what didn't we catch? What are we missing? This is what our immediate focus is.' 

Fort Drum spokesman Lt. Col. Josh Jacques said all three are believed to have been unrelated 'self-harm incidents' while unit leaders insisted that each death will be looked at individually.

The division deployed extensively to Iraq and Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and many members of the division participated in the US military's withdrawal from Afghanistan last month. 

Staff Sgt. Green, Green, an infantryman assigned to 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment (The Polar Bears), 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was one of the last soldiers to return home during the chaotic US pull out of Afghanistan at the end of August and didn't return to New York until September 6

Staff Sgt. Green, Green, an infantryman assigned to 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment (The Polar Bears), 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, was one of the last soldiers to return home during the chaotic US pull out of Afghanistan at the end of August and didn't return to New York until September 6

Specialist Sika Tapueluelu, 26, was a cannon crewmember from Tukwila, Washington

Specialist Sika Tapueluelu, 26, was a cannon crewmember from Tukwila, Washington

Private First Class Tyler Thomas, 21, pictured in what is thought to be the last image he sent to his mother saying everything was okay – days before he died

Private First Class Tyler Thomas, 21, pictured in what is thought to be the last image he sent to his mother saying everything was okay – days before he died

Pfc. Tyler Thomas, 21, Spc. Sika Tapueluelu, 26, and Staff Sgt. Angel Green, 24, assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, all died within two days of each other in mid-September at Fort Drum army base in New York (Pictured: soldiers returning to Fort Drum on Sep. 6 following their exit of Afghanistan)

Pfc. Tyler Thomas, 21, Spc. Sika Tapueluelu, 26, and Staff Sgt. Angel Green, 24, assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, all died within two days of each other in mid-September at Fort Drum army base in New York (Pictured: soldiers returning to Fort Drum on Sep. 6 following their exit of Afghanistan)

Investigators stated they do not believe that Green's deployment to Afghanistan was the main reason behind the suspected suicide, (Pictured: one of the final US evacuation flights out of Afghanistan)

Investigators stated they do not believe that Green's deployment to Afghanistan was the main reason behind the suspected suicide, (Pictured: one of the final US evacuation flights out of Afghanistan)

Fort Drum army base in New York is home to the 10th Mountain Division and commanded by Gen. Maj. Milford H. Beagle Jr. All three soldiers suspected of committing suicide were on the base but operated in different platoons

Fort Drum army base in New York is home to the 10th Mountain Division and commanded by Gen. Maj. Milford H. Beagle Jr. All three soldiers suspected of committing suicide were on the base but operated in different platoons

Private Thomas was a signal support system specialist from Cedar Hill, Texas; Specialist Tapueluelu was a cannon crewmember from Tukwila, Washington; and Green was an infantryman from Barstow, California, who deployed to Afghanistan twice.

Investigators stated they do not believe that his deployment to Afghanistan was the main reason behind the suspected suicide. In addition to two tours of Afghanistan, Green had also deployed to Qatar once. 

A Fort Drum spokesperson said that investigators believe the three deaths are not connected, as the soldiers were not in the same unit, occupied different roles and likely did not know each other. 


Green was born in San Bernardino, California on November 6th, 1996 to Susan Barrera and Gerald and graduated from Eisenhower High School in 2014 where he was reportedly an exceptional track and cross country runner, notching a time of 3:05:44 in the LA Marathon when he was just 16.

He joined the Army the following year in May of 2015 and moved to New York, where he was assigned to 2nd platoon, Bravo Company, 10th Mountain Division where he remained for the entirety of his career.

He served two tours of Afghanistan from 2018-2019 and 2020-2021, and earned the Combat Infantryman's badge for his actions as team leader under direct fire from enemy forces.

His family paid tribute to him in his eulogy: 'You never had to worry about anything as long as he was around. 

'The void in our lives will never be filled. He was an amazing and inspirational person to all.' 

Following the announcement of the soldiers' deaths, Gen. Maj. Beagle Jr. reportedly made a statement to the rest of the soldiers at the base. 

'In trying times like these, it is incumbent upon us all to reach out to your battle buddy. Make sure they are OK,' he said.

'I have spoken with our command teams, and they will gather everyone together. I have asked them to address the warning signs of those at risk, enhance understanding of the characteristics of suicidal ideation and to share coping mechanisms.

'To the soldiers of Fort Drum, the 10th Mountain Division and our entire Army, I want you to know every life is worth living. Your life because you are a teammate, your life because you are mountain tough soldier,' he added. 

'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 Division soldiers disembarking a passenger plane that had carried them back from the front line to New York on September 6)

10th Mountain Division soldiers disembarking a passenger plane that had carried them back from the front line to New York on September 6)

Fort Drum hosted a large welcome home ceremony (pictured) for 10th Mountain Division soldiers who returned from Afghanistan on September 6. Soldiers were able to meet friends, colleagues and family members upon their return to the base

Fort Drum hosted a large welcome home ceremony (pictured) for 10th Mountain Division soldiers who returned from Afghanistan on September 6. Soldiers were able to meet friends, colleagues and family members upon their return to the base 

Cpl Preston Dyce, a soldier with the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, meets his family upon arrival at Fort Drum on September 6

Cpl Preston Dyce, a soldier with the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, meets his family upon arrival at Fort Drum on September 6

A Fort Drum spokesperson told Fox News that the installation has the lowest rate of suicide among Army posts but stressed that one suicide is too many, adding that leaders at the post would continue to engage soldiers on suicide prevention.

'We will continue to reduce the challenges linked to suicide through continued leader engagement, peer intervention and focusing on building cohesive teams,' the spokesperson said.

The deaths come just weeks after the US Army launched a new series of suicide prevention initiatives as part of the Army Suicide Prevention Program (ASPP) which includes a suicide prevention handbook and staff training programs. 

Meanwhile, according to the Cost of War project, led by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, Rhode Island, the number of veterans who have died by suicide since 9/11 is estimated to be around four times higher than the number of servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

While 7,052 servicemen and women have been killed while operating in post-9/11 wars, the Costs of War project claims that over 30,000 veterans have died by suicide in the same amount of time. 

Rajeev Ramchand, a veterans' issues expert at the Rand Corporation said: 'Too many veterans die from suicide each year.

'I am convinced we can prevent many of these deaths.' 

13 US troops were killed in the final days during the US evacuation of Afghanistan when an ISIS-K suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the gates of Kabul airport

13 US troops were killed in the final days during the US evacuation of Afghanistan when an ISIS-K suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the gates of Kabul airport

3 comments:

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  2. those 3 tough guy soldiers did not kill themselves and you know it

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  3. "News is that which someone somewhere does not want revealed. Everything else is advertising."

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