CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A member of the West Virginia Army National Guard has died on deployment in the middle east.
The West Virginia Army National Guard identified the man as Sgt. William
Friese. Friese was assigned to the 821st Engineer Company, 1092nd Engineer Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade out of Summersville.
Guard officials say he died in a non-combat related incident Thursday at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
“Cathy and I are praying for William’s family and the entire National Guard family, and we ask all West Virginians to join with us,” said Governor Jim Justice. “Everything we have we owe to the men and women who defend our country and protect our freedoms. We will do everything we can to provide support to his family and will never forget his service and sacrifice to this great State and our great Nation.”
“The loss of William will be felt throughout our entire organization and on behalf of the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard, I extend my heartfelt condolences to William’s family, friends and those who served with him,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “Our missions are inherently dangerous and not without risk, yet every day, our military members are prepared to defend our Nation in the most dangerous places in the world. William represents the values and service to State and Nation that are the foundations of service in the National Guard. May we never forget Sgt. William Friese, his family or the legacy he leaves behind.”
Friese, who was a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, was on his second deployment after joining the National Guard in 2008. He served with the 821st Engineer Company or the 1092nd Engineer Attrition for all 12 years of his career. . He had previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 for a yearlong tour with the 1092nd Engineer Battalion.
He is the recipient of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Afghanistan Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, West Virginia Emergency Service Ribbon, West Virginia State Service Ribbon, and numerous other awards and decorations.
Friese is survived by his wife, children, mother, sister,and grandparents.
An investigation to determine the cause of the incident is ongoing.