Military neglected to tell family about soldier’s suicide

Aerial view of Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

The family of a military member who died last year in Kosovo from a “noncombat related injury” found out Wednesday via a local newspaper that their daughter had actually committed suicide.

The Sheboygan Press reported that Army Staff Sgt. Heidi Ruh died on May 9, 2014 while serving at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. The military had informed Ruh’s parents, Scott and Catherine, that her death was under investigation and they would contact them with their conclusions. That never happened.

Ruh’s family learned about the news from relatives who had read the story in the Sheboygan Press. A family member, who wished to remain anonymous, said the soldier’s two sons, 8 and 11, found out their mother killed herself while watching the news on television.

The investigation into Ruh’s death was closed on January 20. The family was told that a colonel was going to visit them and talk to them about the conclusions, but according to a relative the visit never took place.

Joining the Army in January 2003 as a biomedical equipment specialist, Ruh, 32, was assigned to the 1st Medical Brigade at Fort Hood in Texas. She volunteered to go to Kosovo and was deployed in 2014. She was attached to the Kosovo Force’s Multinational Battle Group-East.

According to the Sheboygan Press, the family left a military official at Fort McCoy a message on Thursday. They knew the official from previous contact, but had not heard back as of yet. Also an attempt from the Press to get a comment from the Fort McCoy’s public affairs office had not been returned as of Thursday night.

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