Support our mission

Two 1st Infantry Division soldiers died in separate swimming accidents in Germany this week.

Pvt. Sonny Soto, 25, a supply specialist with the 601st Aviation Support Battalion, was riding in a paddle boat with five friends — all soldiers from the Katterbach Kaserne in Germany — at Small Brombach Lake on Sunday, according to German police reports.

Witnesses said Soto, of Sacramento, Calif., dove into the water with his clothes on and did not surface.

Two friends tried unsuccessfully to save him, the German report stated.

German rescue teams arrived on the scene but could not find the soldier after repeated dives.

The body was found floating on the lake on Wednesday. Police said alcohol was not involved.

On Monday, Spc. George Thuo, 28, an automated logistical specialist with the 299th Forward Support Battalion, drowned at the Silvana indoor pool in Schweinfurt.

Thuo was seen on the diving board shortly before a boy noticed the soldier at the bottom of the pool, according to a report in the local German language paper the Main Post.

Thuo was pulled out by a lifeguard and taken to the Schweinfurter Klinik, where he died that afternoon.

It was his first attempt at swimming, the newspaper reported.

Thuo was from Kenya, according to an Army news release.

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up