The Department of Defense announced Tuesday Fort Benning Spc. Richard A. Walters Jr. died in Kuwait.
Walters, 41, died in Ali Al Salem of natural causes, according to Lt. Col. Robert Mon of Fort Benning.
The Cleveland native was assigned to the 14th Combat Support Hospital, a unit consisting of approximately 300 soldiers that deployed to the Middle East in early July. The unit is to complete a yearlong rotation in Iraq.
Walters joined the 14th Combat Support Hospital in May 2009, said Fort Benning spokeswoman Elsie Jackson. He had a history of prior service, possibly in the Navy, she said.
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Walters’ record shows he enlisted in the Army in September 2006 and that he served seven years of active duty in the military.
Walters was a licensed practicing nurse who spent time at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington before he was assigned to Fort Benning, Jackson said.
Walters’ awards include the Navy Fleet Marine Force Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
The 14th Combat Support Hospital staff’s mission is to conduct a broad range of combat health support operations at theater internment facilities in three locations. They provide health care to detainees, coalition forces and other authorized beneficiaries as an integrated component of Multi-National Forces — Iraq Operations Task Force, according to a Fort Benning news release.
The 14th Combat Support Hospital deployed to Afghanistan in support of Combined Joint Task Force-76 and the International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in September 2005. Prior to that, the 14th Combat Support Hospital deployed to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.