Military • Death of Reserve sergeant under investigation.
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The Utah Army Reserve soldier who died in Qatar on Wednesday was a 26-year veteran of the service who deployed with a unit out of St. George in February.
First Sgt. Tracey Stapley, 44, did not die in combat, but the Army did not disclose the circumstances of his death. An investigation is underway.
Stapley, a Clearfield native, worked for and served with an Army Reserve unit in Ogden, the 172nd Multifunctional Medical Battalion. In his civilian life, he was the unit's supervisor staff administrator, said Capt. Chad Nixon, spokesman for the 807th Medical Command at Fort Douglas.
Stapley had moved over to serve as the senior enlisted officer with the 308th Medical Logistics Co. out of St. George when it deployed last winter to Camp As Sayliya, near Doha, the capital of Qatar.
The 70-member 308th provides medical materials and equipment repair for U.S. Central Command at the base, which supports the forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region. Stapley died at Camp As Sayliya, the Army said.
Stapley's father, Elwin Stapley of Clearfield, told KUTV that his son and family lived in Hooper and that he was "a great kid, loved by everyone."
He leaves behind a wife and two children, including a son at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the station reported.
"I take a great deal of pride in him being the man that he is and willing to serve his country as he has done," Elwin Stapley told KUTV. "We loved him, and we just dread the fact that he'd have to come home the way he has to come home."
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert extended his sympathies in a statement.
"Jeanette and I join the people of Utah and express our heartfelt prayers and thoughts for the Stapley family as together we mourn the loss of 1st Sergeant Tracy Stapley, a beloved son, husband and father," Herbert said.
"As the nation just celebrated our independence, may we always remember and honor those who have lived and died for the cause of freedom," Herbert said.