A 21-year-old soldier died Feb. 5 while stateside visiting home, according to a release from the Army. It was the day after a funeral for his husband, according to their obituaries.
“We’re just grieving,” Rosa’s father, Richard Rosa, told Army Times in a Wednesday phone interview, acknowledging that the family believes the deaths were by suicide. “We are without words to express how much we’re grieving and how much grief we feel.”
Rich Rosa, a civilian, had been living in the couple’s native Nebraska while Mitchell was in South Korea on an unaccompanied assignment, in which family members do not move with the soldier.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Pvt. Aaron Mitchell," Lt. Col. Karen Baker, his battalion commander, said in the Friday release. “His death affects every member in our formation. We send our deepest condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of Pvt. Mitchell. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.”
Mitchell was a mortuary affairs specialist who enlisted in May 2018 and had been stationed at Camp Henry, South Korea, with the 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command since October.
Mitchell had been on leave for a family issue, 19th ESC spokesman Capt. Marcellus Simmons confirmed to Army Times, but he could not comment on the investigation into the soldier’s death.
While active-duty reports are up, totals including the National Guard and Reserve were down in 2018.
Rosa declined to discuss his son’s and his son-in-law’s deaths in more detail.
“Out of respect for the two boys, there’s really nothing to add,” he said. “Both families are hurting, terribly hurting.”