U.S. Soldier Dies on Humanitarian Mission in Guatemala

U.S. Soldier Dies on Humanitarian Mission in Guatemala

By Dialogo
July 09, 2012

Missouri National Guard Staff Sgt. Robert J. Traxel, 34, died on 1st July while performing his annual training duties in support of Beyond the Horizon Guatemala exercise.

Initial reports indicate Traxel died after he was struck in the head by a tree limb that fell due to wind generated by helicopter rotor blades during a training exercise. Traxel was providing public affairs support at the exercise.

“The family, friends and colleagues of Staff Sgt. Traxel are in our prayers, as we remember this brave Citizen-Soldier who served not only in the Guard, but also during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as both an active duty Soldier and Marine,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said.

Traxel was a public affairs broadcast specialist with the 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, out of Jefferson City, Missouri. He joined the unit and the Missouri National Guard on April 19, after over seven years of prior service with the active Army and Marines.

In Guatemala, he was conducting annual training, providing broadcast journalism support to Beyond the Horizon Guatemala 2012, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-conducted joint military and humanitarian exercise.

It was unfortunate what happened to the 2nd Class Sergeant. The Alta Verapaz Department, where this unfortunate event happened, has a lush flora and is rich in water resources, with dominance of the Kecchi ethnic group. It is hard to understand that a soldier who was in places as distant as Pakistan found death in an inhospitable territory with smacks of the third world, and well entrenched German customs. Native to Missouri, a fighter of the first world dying in the third world. !!! My prayers for him!!!