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Paratrooper’s death under investigation

Post officials are investigating the death of an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper, the unit reported Friday.

Pvt. 2nd Class Caleb Smither died Jan. 21 on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The cause of death has not been released. The division was not able to say whether the soldier was on duty or not at the time of his passing, Sgt. 1st Class Zach VanDyke, an 82nd public affairs noncommissioned officer, told Army Times.

The 19-year-old paratrooper was from Lubbock, Texas. He enlisted less than a year ago and served as a construction equipment repairer assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

“Smither was an invaluable member of the Falcon Brigade and 82nd Airborne Division,” said brigade commander Col. Jason Curl in a prepared statement. “His passing is a devastating loss for everyone."

Smither joined the Army in May 2019 and arrived at Fort Bragg in December 2019. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Army Parachutist Badge.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow Paratroopers,” Curl added. "We are with them during this difficult time.”

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