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Fort Bragg soldier dies during physical training

Soldiers training at Fort Bragg (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

A Fort Bragg soldier died Tuesday after collapsing during physical training.

Sgt. Robert Thornton Jr., 29, of Cairo, Georgia, was assigned to the 528th Sustainment Brigade.

Thornton, a power generation equipment repairer, was running on Ardennes, which was closed to traffic for physical training, when he collapsed, a spokesman for the unit said. Several soldiers attempted to render aid and rushed Thornton to Womack Army Medical Center.

The cause of death is unknown, officials said. His death is under investigation.

The 528th Sustainment Brigade is part of the 1st Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg. It’s soldiers support Special Forces, civil affairs and psychological operations soldiers around the world.

Thornton had been part of the brigade’s 112th Signal Battalion since January.

“We mourn the loss of this dedicated soldier and our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” said Lt. Col. Shaw Pick, the soldier’s battalion commander. “He was a member of our team, and his life was spent in service to his family, his friends and his country.”

Thornton is survived by his wife, Danielle, and two children, Jaylen and Kinsley.

He enlisted in the Army in 2012 and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Lee, Virginia. He previously served with units at Benning and Yongsan Garrison, South Korea.

Thornton’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at [email protected] or 486-3567.


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