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101st Airborne soldier dies while hiking in TN

Spc. Jabori McGraw. (U.S. Army photo/Released)
September 14, 2022

A U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division soldier stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky died after falling into a river and drowning while hiking in Tennessee on Saturday.

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A Fort Campbell press release provided to American Military News identified the deceased soldier as 20-year-old Spc. Jabori McGraw. He was assigned to the Headquarters Battalion of the 101st Division Artillery.

McGraw was hiking around Billy Dunlop Park in Clarksville, Tenn. when he fell into the Red River on Saturday.

The Clarksville Police Department told Stars & Stripes it received a call at about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday from someone at the park who said their friend was in the Red River and was no longer visible.

The Clarksville Police Department, Clarksville Fire Rescue and the Montgomery County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) dive team closed the park and began search efforts on Saturday.

Clarksville Fire Rescue called off the search on Saturday night, but search efforts resumed on Sunday morning. The Clarksville Police Department announced rescue divers found McGraw’s body at around 9:43 a.m. The Clarksville Police Department described McGraw as a “drowning victim.”

Fort Campbell authorities are working with the Clarksville Police Department to investigate the circumstances surrounding McGraw’s death.

“The entire Division Artillery team is saddened by the loss of an outstanding Soldier,” 101st Division Artillery commander Col. Patrick Moffett said. “He was a valued team member who had the ability to light up any room he was in. His commitment to getting better every day was respected by his subordinates, peers, and leaders. Our deepest condolences go out to his family. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this tragic time.”

McGraw was born in Illinois on April 10, 2002. He enlisted in the Army in 2020 as a signal support systems specialist and In July 2020, he attended basic training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. McGraw was then assigned to Fort Gordon, Ga., where he
attended Signal Advanced Individual Training in September 2020.

The 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell was McGraw’s first unit after completing training. He was assigned to the unit as a signal support systems specialist.

McGraw’s awards and decorations included the National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and Army Service Ribbon.

McGraw’s death comes just days after another 101st Airborne soldier, Lt. Col. Nicholas D. Goshen, died of unspecified “natural causes” while deployed at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania.