Mo. National Guard soldier dies during training mission in Guatemala

Jul 4, 2012

A solider  in the Missouri National Guard has died of injuries suffered during a training exercise.

Staff Sgt. Robert J. Traxel was providing public affairs support to the Beyond the Horizon mission in Guatemala. The National Guard says the 34-year-old was struck in the head by a tree limb that fell in wind generated by helicopter blades. The incident, which happened Monday, is being investigated.

"The family, friends and colleagues of Staff Sgt. Traxel are in our prayers, as we remember this brave Citizen-Soldier who served not only in the Guard, but also during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as both an active duty Soldier and Marine. He answered the call of duty many times, and our state and nation are grateful," Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement.

Traxel joined the National Guard in April after nine years of active duty.

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