Soldier found dead following stand-off was war veteran

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Photo: Aberdeen Proving Ground

A husband and father of three, he was widely admired for his leadership, compassion, and competence. He served his Nation here and in combat zones with honor and distinction—and that commitment never wavered.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Carter (Photo: Aberdeen Proving Ground)

ABERDEEN (MD): Officials say, at approximately 8 a.m. Sunday March 22nd, APG emergency dispatch received a phone call from a concerned family member regarding a member of the family who locked himself inside a residence on APG-North. Authorities responded quickly to the residence and isolated the scene.

“as a precautionary measure, residents within the vicinity of the affected area were notified and were being provided an alternate location to go while the situation is resolved.”, said an earlier release.

It took authorities more than 17 hours of negotiations to resolve the situation and on Monday, March 23rd, the standoff ended when “APG Emergency Services, along with other support agencies, entered a home in the Bayside housing area where they found the Soldier deceased.”, the press release said.

The soldier was later identified as U.S. Army Staff Sergeant James Aaron Carpenter, age 27, a resident of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

According to his obituary at McComas funeral home, “Carpenter was born December 1, 1990, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

He served as a healthcare specialist, combat medic, and healthcare sergeant at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Stewart, Georgia; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

At the Kirk Army Health Clinic at Aberdeen Proving Ground, he was a member of the primary care team and was the interim Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in Charge of Primary Care. In this role, he was responsible for administering primary care to senior Army leaders on the installation.”

His superiors say that “Staff Sergeant Carpenter was a proud and committed Soldier who served his Nation with honor and distinction. While serving in the 1st of the 64th Armor Battalion, Fort Stewart, he served as the rear detachment NCO in 2016. While serving in the 1st of the 21st Field Artillery, Fort Hood, he deployed to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom from 2011 to 2012. He received multiple commendations and awards for his service.”

During his career as a healthcare specialist, combat medic, and healthcare sergeant, he enjoyed helping others, and he was steadfast about advancing his military education. He was notable for his outgoing demeanor, which was amplified by his 6’8″ frame.

Earlier this week, Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor released a statement that read, “Last week, we experienced the most difficult event that has occurred during my tenure as Senior Commander at Aberdeen Proving Ground: the loss of a Soldier while he served at APG.

While we are still working to understand what happened, it is critically important for us to join together to support the Soldier’s family, and each other, during this painful time.

The Soldier was a combat medic and a combat veteran currently serving at our Kirk Army Health Clinic. I and other senior APG leaders knew this Soldier personally and respected him highly, and it was my privilege to promote him to Staff Sergeant a few months ago.

Photo: Aberdeen Proving Ground FB

A husband and father of three, he was widely admired for his leadership, compassion, and competence. He served his Nation here and in combat zones with honor and distinction—and that commitment never wavered.

The loss of any Soldier is devastating, Taylor said. “The loss of a person so many of us knew and admired makes it all the more difficult. While we can never truly know why a man we loved is no longer with us, we do know that the Army has lost a leader, a wife has lost a husband, and three young children have lost a father.”

Residents on the base were just as shocked as his superiors were. “So many suffer in silence. WW2 the men came home together in ships and were together to talk to each other, help each come to terms with what they had been thru. Vietnam, they were home within a day, no way to come to some kind of closure. Today they come within hours, shuttled between doors to talk with someone who may not really know how to help or know the extent of their hurt”, said Terrie Cheaney.

“This breaks my heart for him and the pain he was going through, and for his family. May he RIP. Prayers for his family, for strength, comfort, and peace.”, said Wendy Ellen Davan.

“Such a shame one of my best friends I’ve ever had, rest easy brother gonna miss you and our nights when we went down to savannah”, said Lewis Saujon.

Carpenter will be laid to rest April 5. He is survived by his wife Victoria Carpenter, daughter Kinsley Elizabeth, stepsons Carson Rogers and Auston Rogers.

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