Fort Bragg soldier dies during physical training


By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: November 16, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — A Fort Bragg soldier died earlier this week after collapsing during physical training.

Sgt. Robert Thornton Jr., 29, of Cairo, Georgia, was assigned to the 528th Sustainment Brigade. He was found unresponsive on Ardennes Road on Tuesday, Nov. 14, according to a spokesman for his unit.

Thornton, a power generation equipment repairer, was running on Ardennes, which was closed to traffic for physical training, when he collapsed.

Several soldiers attempted to render aid and rushed Thornton to Womack Army Medical Center, the spokesman said. But the soldier could not be revived.

The cause of death is currently unknown, officials said. And the incident is under investigation.

The 528th Sustainment Brigade is part of the 1st Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg. It’s soldiers support Special Forces, civil affairs and psychological operations soldiers around the world.

Thornton had been part of the brigade's 112th Signal Battalion since January.

"We mourn the loss of this dedicated soldier and our thoughts and prayers are with his family," said Lt. Col. Shaw Pick, the soldier's battalion commander. "He was a member of our team, and his life was spent in service to his family, his friends and his country."

Thornton is survived by his wife, Danielle, and two children, Jaylen and Kinsley.

He enlisted in the Army in 2012 and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Lee, Virginia. He previously served with units at Benning and Yongsan Garrison, South Korea.

Thornton's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at dbrooks@fayobserver.com

©2017 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
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