Missing Army Brigade CSM found dead near home, likely a suicide

Command Sergeant Major Folsom

The Brigade Command Sgt. Major (CSM) of the Michigan National Guard’s 177th MP Brigade, missing since last week, has been found dead.

David Folsom, 54, from Waterford Township, left home on foot July 12 at about 3:30 a.m.

Click On Detroit News reports Folsom’s body was found Wednesday at a park near his home. Suicide is the suspected cause of death.

Folsom had been in the National Guard for 20 years and has had deployments to Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan.

Command Sgt. Maj. David Folsom, 246th Transportation Battalion command sergeant major, presents outgoing commander Lt. Col. Joseph Cognitore with the U.S. Army Officer Saber for his dedicated leadership at a change of command ceremony at the Michigan National Guard Jackson Readiness Center, Jackson, Mich., Nov. 8, 2015. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ron Raflik/Released)

Folsom’s wife tells Click On Detroit News he suffered from PTSD and had a history of going missing. She says he went missing earlier this month for about nine hours and once he returned home, he couldn’t remember where he went.

In a message posted on Facebook July 16, Folsom’s commander, Col. Thomas Vern asked that soldiers take care of each other.

“Please take a moment to check on your buddies, and thanks for your continued support of Sgt. Major Folsom and his family.”

The 177th MP Brigade is intimately familiar with PTSD related suicide, and in May, Staff Sgt. Michael Beattie of Marinette, Wisconsin, and 1st Lt. Cody Cass of Marquette, Michigan, decided it was their calling to raise suicide awareness.

Both members of 107th Headquarters and Headquarters Company -part of Folsom’s brigade- based out of Ishpeming, Mich., Beattie and Cass went on a challenging quest from May 13th to May 26th across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in hopes of spreading a stronger message to the world and to let those who are suffering know that they are not alone.

“I’ve been wanting to do a hike across the U.P. and Beattie had been wanting to do something to raise awareness for Veteran suicide, so together we collaborated on the idea and saved up our vacation time to make it happen,” Cass said during an Army story posted to The Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS).

The DVIDS story reminds service members who are in need can receive help by calling the 24/7 Crisis Support Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or by texting 838255 to receive free, confidential support from trained personnel.

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  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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