JBER soldier dies in Afghanistan vehicle crash
An Alaskan soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan has died in a non-combat vehicle accident, military officials say.
Staff Sgt. David Thomas Brabander, 24, died from his injuries in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on Monday, according to U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson John Pennell. Because of Brabander's rank, he would have been a passenger in the vehicle, Pennell said. He did not have details on the type of vehicle that was involved in the crash.
Brabander was deployed to Afghanistan in September 2017 in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.
He was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as an airborne infantryman who served as a squad leader in the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska.
Brabander's previous assignment was in Hawaii. He enlisted in the Army in March 2012 in Anchorage and has been assigned to U.S. Army Alaska since November 2012.
The investigation is ongoing.
Governor Bill Walker Tuesday ordered flags lowered in honor of Staff Sergeant Brabander through Friday.
“Staff Sergeant David Brabander died in service to his country, fellow Alaskans and his family,” Governor Walker said. “When a soldier is deployed, his loved ones are enlisted for an emotional journey. I urge Alaskans to support David’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time. Byron, Toni, Donna and I are holding them in our prayers.”
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