(IntegrityPress.org) – In Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 2 drill sergeants have been found dead within just a week from each other. The initial incident involved the discovery of Allen Burtram, 34, who was found dead on December 8 after failing to show up for his duty. Emergency responders from Fort Jackson promptly arrived at the scene, where the Cleveland, Alabama native was declared deceased.
Shortly after that, on December 16, the body of Zachary Melton, 30, was found dead in his vehicle. Like Burtram, Melton had also not reported for duty, prompting concerns and subsequent investigations. Brigadier General Jason E. Kelly, who holds a commanding role at Fort Jackson, confirmed that inquiries into both incidents are underway to determine the exact circumstances surrounding their deaths, although the Army says there’s probably no foul play involved.
While the specifics regarding the cause of death for both sergeants remain undisclosed, official statements have clarified that the 2 incidents are unrelated. Contrary to any suspicions, there’s no indication of foul play in Burtram’s demise. Melton and Burtram served as drill sergeants in separate battalions at Fort Jackson and had commendable military careers spanning over a decade each.
Fort Jackson, a significant military base in the US, has unfortunately witnessed a series of such deaths this year. Earlier in June, the base saw another death when Staff Sergeant Jaime Contreras, 40, was discovered dead following his disappearance during a land navigation exercise.
With a responsibility that extends to over 3,500 active-duty soldiers, Fort Jackson is a huge establishment for the US Army. Every year it inducts approximately 45,000 new trainees, underlining its critical importance in military training and operations. As the community grapples with these losses, the military continues to extend support to the colleagues and loved ones of the drill sergeants who died.
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