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US Army soldier dies after falling from Saudi Arabian tower

A U.S. Army Soldier from the New Jersey National Guard's Honor Guard holds a folded flag during training at the Lawrenceville Armory, N.J., Feb. 12, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)
August 21, 2019

An Army Reserve Specialist died after falling off a tower while serving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 17.

Serving in Operation Inherent Resolve, Army Specialist Clayton James Horne, 23, a military police officer and a native of Atlanta, Ga., died from “wounds sustained by a noncombat related incident,” according to a Defense Department press release on Monday.

“Spec. Horne was a professional and was committed to the mission,” said Maj. Valerie Palacios, a spokeswoman for the 200th Military Police Command, according to Military.com.

“We are grateful for his service. A thorough investigation is being conducted into the circumstances, and therefore we are unable to provide any further information at this time,” Palacios added.

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While Palacios did not provide Horne’s cause of death, according to his civilian employer, the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Department in Louisiana, Horne died from falling off a tower.

“It is with deep sadness that I report the death of Deputy Clayton Horne. Clayton was serving the Army in Saudi Arabia and fell off of a tower,” an Aug. 17 Facebook statement from the Sheriff’s Department account read.

“Clayton was an excellent deputy and I was looking forward to him completing his tour and returning to work at the sheriff’s office. He was serving his country in the Army Reserve and served the citizens of Winn Parish as a deputy. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers during this most difficult time.”

Horne received the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. He had joined the Army Reserve on May 15, 2015, according to Palacios, and was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion at the time of his death.

The Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, offered his condolences to Horne’s family.

“It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Spc. Clayton Horne, of Atlanta, La., who died serving his country in Saudi Arabia while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve,” Edwards’ statement read, according to KSLA12 News.

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“Spc. Horne made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all of us, and the people of our nation and our state owe him and his family an enormous debt of gratitude. Spc. Horne not only served as a military police officer but also a Winn Parish sheriff’s deputy, dedicating his life to keeping people safe,” he continued.

“We can never thank him enough for his commitment to our state and our country. Please join me and Donna in prayer for this young man’s family, friends and fellow soldiers during this difficult time,” Edwards added.