National Guard soldier dies after illness during training

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont National Guard sergeant has died in New Orleans after falling ill during a monthlong training rotation in Louisiana.

The Burlington Free Press reports that 25-year-old Sgt. Willard Magoon, of Panton, was admitted to an intensive care unit in Leesville, Louisiana, after experiencing “flu-like symptoms.”

A Vermont National Guard news release says Magoon’s health declined and he was transferred to New Orleans, where he died June 9 from heart-related complications.

Magoon was among 2,000 Vermont soldiers and 3,000 soldiers from other states training at Fort Polk in Louisiana. As part of the training that included simulated combat, soldiers spent two weeks out in the field.

A Vermont National Guard spokesman did not elaborate on the cause of death, citing the family’s privacy.

The spokesman says the military is not investigating Magoon’s death.

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