A Tennessee man was identified as the soldier who died during training Sunday at Fort Rucker, the base said Tuesday.
First Lt. William B. Pickel, 30, of Cleveland, Tennessee, was taking part in a survival training exercise Sunday when he experienced a “health-related issue” that required him to be taken to then hospital via aircraft. He was pronounced dead around 9 a.m.
“Fort Rucker officials are deeply saddened by the loss of this outstanding soldier,” the Dale County base said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. The next of kin were notified and a casualty assistance team is currently providing assistance to the family.”
Pickel, who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for combat, was in the Army since 2007.
Pickel’s uncle made the following statement on Facebook:
“I need to put this out there so everyone would know. Priscilla my younger sister lost her thirty year old son yesterday. He was a medic in The army, he was in some kind if training in Fort Rucker Alabama. They said he had a seizure and they air lifted him to the hospital. They could not revive him. His name is Blake Pickel he has a wife Tara and two little girls, 4 and 10 years old. He has been enlisted twelve years. Please pray for our family!! He passed his physical with a three hundred the best you can get. So hard to understand why!! Tara will be back from Alabama tomorrow and will let us know something about arrangements when she knows something.”
Fort Rucker officials continued to investigate the incident Tuesday; Pickel’s cause of death was not known as of Tuesday evening.
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