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BAUMHOLDER, Germany — A soldier assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division died Sunday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center six days after being found unconscious in his barracks room, Army officials reported.

Pvt. Vincent V. Thomas, 25, a member of the 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, died of heart failure that appears to be connected to excessive alcohol consumption, according to unit commander Lt. Col. Rich Morales.

While an autopsy is being conducted to determine the precise cause of death, initial signs indicate that alcohol was a likely factor, Morales said.

Thomas and his fellow 1-35 soldiers had just completed a series of training exercises in Grafenwöhr in preparation for their 2008 deployment to Iraq. The unit returned to Baumholder on Dec. 11.

Later that day, Thomas was found unconscious in his room. He was immediately transported to nearby Kusel Hospital and later to Landstuhl, according to a V Corps news release.

While the circumstances surrounding Thomas’ death continue to be investigated, no foul play is suspected, according to V Corps.

“There is an ongoing investigation and we’ll determine exactly what happened,” Morales said.

Thomas’ mother and sister flew to Germany after learning of his condition and were at his side when he died.

Morales said it’s important for soldiers to look out for one another and understand the dangers of drinking too much.

“When soldiers choose to drink, they need to do so in moderation,” Morales said. “Drinking in excess is not just devastating to them. It’s devastating to families and the unit.”

Thomas was assigned to 1-35’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

A memorial service is tentatively scheduled for today at 2 p.m. at Chapel One, Smith Barracks.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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