Six National Guardsmen taken to hospital during training exercise in Connecticut

Students in the Connecticut National Guard's 169th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Combat Medic reclassification course load a simulated casualty onto a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter at Stones Ranch Military Reservation, East Lyme, Conn. Aug. 18, 2020.

Christine Dempsey

Hartford Courant

Six Guardsmen who were involved in a military training exercise in East Lyme were taken to the hospital Monday morning to be treated for apparent dehydration, authorities said.

The Guardsmen were stricken at the Stones Ranch Military Reservation, Police Chief Michael Finkelstein said. He said what he hopes is the last patient was loaded onto an ambulance at 8:50 a.m. They are headed to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London.

Major David Pytlik, public affairs officer for the Connecticut National Guard, said the Guardsman became ill during Officer Candidate School. They were involved in an exercise he called “strenuous” — a six-mile hike with a heavy backpack.

No one was believed to be seriously ill, Pytlik said; a doctor on the scene recommended that they go to the hospital as a precaution.

“This is pretty typical during this event,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s just one of the common parts of soldiering.”

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