Fort Bliss soldier died after falling into the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park, officials say
By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 24, 2019
AUSTIN, Texas – The death of a Fort Bliss soldier at Big Bend National Park last week is under investigation, the 1st Armored Division confirmed Friday.
Pfc. Mamady Kaba, an automated logistical specialist with Charlie Company, 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, died May 18 at the southwest Texas park, located about 330 miles east of Fort Bliss, according to a news release from the division on Friday.
Big Bend officials said in a statement that Kaba, 19, was visiting the park with other members of his unit. Witnesses said he slipped and fell into the Rio Grande while playing and swimming near the Hot Springs area and did not resurface.
“The 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion mourns the loss of one of our own. Pfc. Kaba was a patriot, a warrior, and integral member of the Tiger Battalion team,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Narvaes, battalion commander, said in a statement. “In his short tenure in the Army, he left an indelible impression with impacts that reach all the way up to the Corps level. He may be gone but will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Pfc. Kaba’s family and friends.”
A native of Riverdale, Ga., Kaba was promoted to his current rank posthumously. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.