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2 US Army paratroopers found dead in their barracks room

U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., prepare for airborne operations, Forward Operating Base Latham, Fort Bragg, N.C., Dec. 8, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tracy McKithern/Released)
June 14, 2021

Two U.S. Army paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were found dead inside their barracks room at Fort Bragg, North Carolina over the weekend, Army officials first revealed Monday.

Lt. Col. Mike Burns, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division, identified the two paratroopers in a statement to American Military News as Spc. Joshua Diamond, 35, of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Pfc. Matthew Disney, 20, of Aberdeen, Maryland.

Burns said the two paratroopers were pronounced deceased by EMTs when they arrived at the barracks.

It was not immediately clear what caused the deaths of the two paratroopers. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is investigating the deaths.

Chris Grey, spokesman for Army CID said, “At this point in the investigation we do have credible information that the Soldiers were involved with illicit drugs.”

Burns said the incident is “a very tough loss for the command, and their fellow Paratroopers.”

Both Diamond and Disney both joined the Army in 2019 and served as field artillery firefinder radar operators and were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT).

Diamond arrived at Fort Bragg in 2019 and Disney arrived at the base in 2020.

Diamond is a combat veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2020. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with Combat Device, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Parachutist Badge.

Disney’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Parachutist Badge.

“Our greatest strength is our Paratroopers and these losses are a tragedy,” said Col. Phillip J. Kiniery III, commander 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “We mourn the passing of Matthew and Joshua. They remain part of our Family of Falcon Brigade Paratroopers. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones and fellow Paratroopers during this difficult time.”

The deaths at Fort Bragg come after two other people were found dead on the base in December. One of the bodies in that incident was identified as 37-year-old Master Sgt. William J. Lavigne, a member of the U.S. Special Operations Command. The other was identified as 44-year-old Timothy Dumas, a U.S. Army veteran who lived in Pinehurst, about 30 miles from the base. Their case was being investigated as a double homicide.