Vermont Army National Guard sergeant dies during training rotation in Louisiana

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A Vermont National Guard sergeant died on June 9 in New Orleans from heart-related complications after falling ill during a month-long training rotation in Louisiana. 

Sgt. Willard Magoon, 25, of Panton, was admitted to the intensive care unit in a Leesville, Louisiana hospital after experiencing “flu-like symptoms,” according to a news release put out by the Vermont National Guard. 

Magoon was transferred to New Orleans as his health declined.

Guard spokesman Captain Mike Arcovitch declined to elaborate further on Magoon’s cause of death, citing the family’s privacy. 

Magoon was an allied trade specialist assigned to B Company, 186th Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

He was one of 2,000 Vermont soldiers training at Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center. They joined with 3,000 National Guard soldiers from other states for drills that put them through simulated combat. 

Soldiers spend two weeks out in the field, called “the box,” Arcovitch said.

The military is not investigating Magoon’s death, Arcovitch said. 

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