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US Army paratrooper found dead in AK barracks

Spc. Jason Alexander Thomas pictured with Staff Sgt. Jaime Estrella and Spc. (now Sgt.) Adrian Arthurs. (U.S. Army/Released)
March 10, 2020

A U.S. paratrooper has been identified after being found dead in his barracks room on an Alaskan base on Saturday.

Spc. Jason Alexander Thomas, of the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, was found unresponsive in his barracks room at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. U.S. Army Alaska identified Thomas as the deceased soldier in an emailed statement to American Military News.

Emergency responders initially transported the 23-year-old Thomas to the 673d Medical Group hospital and took on additional life-saving measures, before he was pronounced dead at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The cause of Thomas’ death remains unclear and is currently under investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Thomas joined the U.S. Army in 2016 and served at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart, Ga., before being stationed in Alaska in April 2019. He had been decorated with the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Expert Infantry Badge.

“Jason was exactly what we wanted in a Paratrooper — tireless in his efforts, aggressive in his pursuits, and passionate about our business,” Lt. Col. Josh Gaspard, the commander of the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment said in the statement. “His untimely passing has created a ripple effect across the Denali Squadron. Our sincere condolences go out to Jason’s family, friends, and fellow Paratroopers.”