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US Army soldier found dead in Alaska

Master Sgt. Wesley Woods, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (US Army/Released)
January 08, 2022

A U.S. Army soldier was found dead in Fairbanks, Alaska on Dec. 30, the service first revealed late Friday.

The Army told American Military News in an email that first responders were alerted of a CPR in progress in North Pole, according to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch. After 35 minutes of efforts to save the soldier’s life, Master Sgt. Wesley Woods, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division was declared dead.

Originally from Horn Lake, Mississippi, Woods joined the Army in July 2001. He was previously based at Fort Irwin, California; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Riley, Kansas; and Fort Wainwright. The 40-year-old also served combat tours in Djibouti and Iraq.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Master Sgt. Woods,” Lt. Col. Matthew B. Chase, 70th Brigade Engineer Battalion commander, said in a statement. “He was a dedicated, servant leader who made a tremendous impact during his time in the Arctic Wolf Brigade and through this career in the Army. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and all those that cared for him at this time.”

During his service, Woods earned a number of awards and decorations, including two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, four awards of the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, seven awards of the Army Achievement Medal, six awards of the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, the Expert Infantry Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

Officials with the Alaska State Troopers and the Army Criminal Investigation Division are investigating Woods’ cause of death.

In late November, two more U.S. Army Alaska soldiers were found dead in their vehicles over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in separate incidents.

Sgt. Miles Jordan Tarron, 30, was discovered dead in his car in Anchorage, Alaska. Officials are investigating Tarron’s death, but no “foul play” is suspected, U.S. Army Alaska told American Military News in an email.

Days earlier on Friday, Spc. Isaiah Nicholas Oneal, 22, was found dead in his vehicle in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alaska State Troopers and the Army Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the cause of death, but “foul play is not suspected.”

“During this difficult time, we ask those distressed to seek assistance,” said 25th BSB commander Lt. Col. William Bennett in a statement at the time. “We ask that all Arctic Wolves to check on their fellow soldiers and families and to look out and take care of each other during the holidays.”