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Army dog handler found dead in Alaska home during welfare check

A Fort Wainwright sign is shown in this undated photo.

COURTESY OF THE U.S. ARMY

By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 4, 2019

A 25-year-old Army dog handler was found dead Wednesday at his home in North Pole, Alaska, the Army said.

Alaska law enforcement officers discovered the body of Sgt. Jorden Thomas Williams during a welfare check that had been requested by family members living outside the state, the Army said Friday in a statement.

North Pole is located between Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright, where Williams was stationed. The town is about 13 miles southeast of the central city of Fairbanks.

The Army did not release information about the circumstances of the soldier’s death. It is being investigated by the Alaska State Troopers and the Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Williams was a dog handler with the 549th Military Working Dog Detachment, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, the Army said.

He was assigned to Fort Wainwright in November 2014 and had deployed to Qatar from September 2015 to May 2016 and to Afghanistan from June 2017 to February 2018.

He joined the Army from Cambridge, Ohio, in December 2013.

Williams’ awards included the Army Commendation Medal with “C” device to denote it was awarded for his actions in a combat situation, two Army Commendation Medals, a Good Conduct Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a NATO Medal and a Combat Action Badge, the Army said.

olson.wyatt@stripes.com
Twitter: @WyattWOlson

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