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NY Army National Guard soldier from found dead in D.C.

Soldiers with the 206th Military Police Battalion, New York National Guard, outside the Library of Congress. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Pietrantoni)

A National Guard soldier from Marcellus assigned to help protect the U.S. Capitol in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack has been found dead in his hotel room, New York National Guard officials said Friday.

Specialist Justin Grennell, 26, was found unresponsive by his roommate Thursday morning and pronounced dead by emergency services personnel.

No foul play is suspected but Grennell’s death is under investigation by the Washington Metro Police Department, said Eric Durr, a spokesman for the New York National Guard in Latham.

Grennell, assigned to the A Troop of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, was among 540 New York National Guard soldiers deployed to the U.S. Capitol in January after the inauguration of President Joseph Biden.

National Guard soldiers have been deployed in and around the Capitol after a group of demonstrators entered the building Jan. 6 and clashed with police.

“All of us in the New York National Guard are deeply saddened by the death of this young soldier,” said Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, the adjutant general of New York.

“When our state and nation called, he stepped forward and enlisted. Following the attack on our nation’s Capitol on January 6th, he selflessly deployed to Washington, D.C.,” Shields said. “Our thoughts are with his family in this most trying time.”

Grennell, formerly of Port Byron, was a 2012 graduate of Dana L. West High School in Port Byron, where he played on the baseball team. He enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2014 and served as an anti-tank gunner. His unit, A Troop, is based in Geneva.

Grennell’s military awards include the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.


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