Memorial fund sought for Fort Bragg medic who died during training
By CARLOS R. MUNOZ | Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla. | Published: November 28, 2018
SARASOTA (Tribune News Service) — A U.S. Army combat medic had a heart attack while training for his Expert Field Medical Badge at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Spc. Aaron E. Mastrorio, 33, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, became ill Nov. 8 and died at Duke University Hospital on Nov. 12 surrounded by his wife, Jenn Williams, and family, according to his obituary.
Mastrorio was born July 2, 1985, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from University Park Campus High School in 2003 and was later a standout athlete in lacrosse at the University of South Florida.
His bachelor's degree was in criminal justice.
In 2017, Mastrorio enlisted in the Army and completed basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and advanced individual training in San Antonio. His first assignment was to Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 44th Medical Brigade as a health care specialist.
Mastrorio relocated to Fayetteville, where he and his wife purchased a home near Fort Bragg.
The Expert Field Medical Badge is a non-combat special skills badge considered to be one of the most challenging and prestigious Army badges. Only 3 percent of the Army's medical community wear the badge.
"There is typically an 80 percent attrition rate," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason M. Morgan, first sergeant 86th Combat Support Hospital. "Everyone thinks the EFMB testing is just medical, but it's not. In order to pass, you need to have a well-rounded medical soldier that can use a radio, that can ruck; they have to know what they are doing with various weapon systems. It's way more than just first aid."
The testing phase, according to the Army, also includes casualty care and evacuation; drills in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards; reacting to enemy contact; day and night land navigation; and a written test. The event ends with a 12-mile ruck march, which has to be completed in 3 hours or less.
Mastrorio's military awards include: Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He was considered the comedian of his family, his obituary says.
He is survived by his parents, Edward G. and Gail (Brodeur) Mastrorio of Spencer, Massachusetts; his twin brother Anthony E. Mastrorio; his brother Matthew J. Duff; his grandmother, Marilyn L. (Perry) Mastrorio, of Sarasota; and many other relatives.
A GoFundMe was started to establish a memorial fund in the specialist's memory. It has raised more than $10,000 toward a $50,000 goal.
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