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South Korea-based US soldier dies in MD while on leave

Military holiday leave (U.S. Air Force /Released)
April 29, 2019

The death of an 18-year-old Army soldier who was home on leave but stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea is under investigation.

Pvt. Courtney Shields was pronounced dead at a Maryland hospital after she was found unresponsive Friday, according to Stripes.

Shields had been serving in the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea as a signal support systems specialist.

She was from Bryans Road, Md., and joined the Army in Oct. 2017, when she was just 17-years-old and was assigned to the 229th Signal Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade.

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Battalion commander Lt. Col. Jeremiah Pope said, “During her short time with us, Pvt. Shields had a positive impact on all the soldiers within the 2ID Sustainment Brigade, Special Troops Battalion and will be dearly missed. “She was a valued member of the Dragon team that could brighten up any room with her infectious smile.”

Shields received numerous awards for her service, including the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon.

Several other deaths have occurred this year, while soldiers are home on leave. Some of them are soldiers stationed at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

Pfc. Tristan Creamer, 20, from Bryan County, GA, was a CH-47 Chinook mechanic assigned to the 602nd Aviation Support Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and was killed in a car accident while on leave in March 2019, Army Times reported.

Lt. Col. Jonathan A. Easley, his battalion commander said, “The Warhorse team is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and comrade, Pfc. Tristan Creamer. We are forever grateful for the commitment he made to his nation, his choice to serve forward in Korea, and the enthusiasm he brought to every mission. We extend our condolences to his family and friends around the world. We remain committed to supporting his family and all those affected by this tragic loss.”

Creamer was survived by his wife and parents.

In February, another soldier stationed in South Korea and home on leave, took his own life in Nebraska. He was found dead in Valley, NE, 12 days after his husband, 21-year-old Rich Rosa committed suicide, Army Times reported.

Lt. Col. Karen Baker said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Pvt. Aaron Mitchell. 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.”