Vermont National Guard soldier dies in Louisiana

Local News

A 25-year-old soldier with the Vermont Army National Guard died Sunday in a New Orleans hospital.

Sgt. Willard Magoon, 25, died of cardiac complications with his family at his side, the Vermont National Guard said in a statement.

Magoon was in Louisiana as part of the Vermont Army National Guard 19-07 Joint Readiness Training Center. The training ended in late May, but Magoon was experiencing what the Guard called “flu-like symptoms” and was confined to quarters.

When his health continued to decline, he was admitted to the intensive-care unit at Rapides Hospital in Leesville, LA. He was later transported to the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans where he died.

Brig. Gen. Gregory Knight, Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard, said the unit was “shocked and saddened” by Magoon’s death. “We are here for his family, and will offer them all the support we can during this trying time,” Knight said.

Brigadier General David Manfredi also expressed his sadness in the wake of Sgt. Magoon’s death.

“For the most part, what you see throughout the ranks is shock because this happened so quickly to someone so young,” Manfredi said. “Our focus right now is to provide all the resources we can right now to the family as they work through their grief and also work to provide resources to his teammates in his unit as well.”

Gov. Phil Scott also offered his condolences to Magoon’s family and the guard.

“I mourn alongside you, as we come to grips with this tragic loss,” Scott said.

Magoon was a machinist supervisor assigned to B Company, 186th Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN).

(JRTC) rotation beginning in April and ending in late May.

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