An Afghanistan War veteran and former New York congressional candidate was found dead in an apparent suicide Tuesday, just days after he dropped out of his run for the US House.
According to MidHudsonNews.com, former U.S. Army Major Kyle Van De Water, 41, was found dead in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery in what police told the outlet was a “likely suicide.”
After failing to unseat U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado last year, Van De Water decided to attempt a second run for the House. On Aug. 27, however, the veteran turned Republican congressional candidate suddenly pulled out of the race.
“I have been truly humbled by and will be forever grateful for all of the support I have received these past few years. It has been an honor getting to meet so many of you as I traveled across the district,” Van De Water wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately, circumstances in my life have changed and I am no longer able to give 110% towards this endeavor.”
“For the good of the party, and the district, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy,” he continued. “I look forward to vigorously and enthusiastically supporting the GOP candidate in 2022.”
Van De Water served eight years in the Army, and was honorably discharged in 2014. He remained in the U.S. Army Reserves, HudsonValley360 reported.
A Bronze-star awarded veteran, Van De Water “was a war hero who put his life and well-being on the line for his country,” Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said in response to his death. “We owe him, his family, and all of our brave service men and women everything for the sacrifices they have made.”
Molinaro said all troops “who struggle upon returning home and anyone who may be struggling with this news, please know that help is always available to you,” adding that those in crisis should call or text the Dutchess County helpline at 845-485-9700 or “walk in to our 24/7 stabilization center at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie.”
Van De Water is survived by his wife, Melissa, and their four children: triplets Thomas, Lincoln and Annabelle, and son Levi.
Congressman Antonio Delgado, who defeated Van De Water for the House seat last year, said in a statement, “Kyle’s death is tragically felt not only on an individual level, but also nationally, as far too many veterans across our country are going without the support and care that their service to our great land undoubtedly necessitates. We can and must do better.”
In his statement, Delgado included the Veterans Crisis Line: call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.