ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The West Point U.S. Military Academy announced Thursday that two Florida soldiers died during a training exercise earlier this week.
U.S. Army Fort Benning said the soldiers, identified as 2nd Lt. Evan Fitzgibbon and Staff Sgt. George Taber, died during a training exercise in Dahlonega, Georgia, on Tuesday after being struck by a falling tree at Yonah Mountain.
“2nd Lt. Fitzgibbon was an incredible leader of character who exemplified Army values and the West Point ideals of Duty, Honor, and Country,” West Point wrote in a statement. “The entire West Point Community and the Long Gray Line share in this loss and are keeping the Fitzgibbon and Taber families in our thoughts and prayers.”
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Fitzgibbon was an Infantry officer assigned to the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Benning in Florida and a graduate of West Point’s Class of 2021, according to Fort Benning.
Fort Benning added that Taber was a Special Forces Medical Sergeant assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and he served in the Army since his enlistment in March 2017.
The Foundation Academy, a Christian private school in Winter Garden, also commented on Fitzgibbon’s death. According to the school, Fitzgibbon had attended Foundation Academy.
“The Foundation Academy family would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Evan Fitzgibbon,” the school said. “We are saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of this young man who loved the Lord and impacted both the school culture and his peers while attending Foundation Academy. Evan was a leader in the classroom, on the field, and in his life’s work.”
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