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Soldier, 26, dies after medical emergency on flight

February 09, 2023

A 26-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Stewart died Tuesday after suffering a medical emergency on a flight from the Georgia Army post to a combat training exercise in California.

The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, where Pfc. Kaleb H. Franklin died at an area hospital, according to a statement provided to American Military News by Fort Stewart communications chief Kevin Larson.

The cause of his medical emergency was not immediately clear, and the cause of his death has not been determined, according to the statement.

Medical personnel on the plane had attempted to resuscitate Franklin, according to the statement. The plane was carrying a group of soldiers to the National Training Center at California’s Fort Irwin for a combat training rotation.

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Franklin had served nearly three years on active duty and was an information technology specialist who had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, according to Larson. He served with the 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, under the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team.

“Our hearts mourn his unexpected passing,” the brigade’s commander, Col. Ethan Diven, said in a statement, adding that Franklin had “so much potential. We offer our deepest condolences to the family. Our first priority is supporting them as well as the soldiers in his unit and honoring his legacy in our brigade.”

The 2nd ABCT suffered another loss late last year when a 30-year-old sergeant, Nathan Hillman, was fatally shot by another soldier in the brigade’s complex at Fort Stewart.

The suspected shooter, 28-year-old Spc. Shay Wilson, was charged with murder.

Georgia’s Fort Stewart is the Army’s largest installation east of the Mississippi River, according to 

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.