Army Investigators Say Staff Sergeant’s Death in Afghanistan Was a Suicide, Family Not Convinced

Staff Sgt. Garrick L. Eppinger Jr., soldier who was on his third deployment died from a self-inflicted gunshot would the Army Criminal Investigative Division concluded. Eppinger’s family has not been provided a copy of the Army’s report and is not convinced. (Sharon Cekada /Post-Crescent)

Family Contests Suicide Ruling in GI Death

by Nick Penzenstadler

The Post-Crescent, May 16, 2012

The family of an Appleton, Wis., soldier who died last year in Afghanistan said Tuesday they dispute the Army’s findings that the man committed suicide.

Army Criminal Investigation Command, based in Quantico, Va., concluded this spring that Staff Sgt. Garrick L. Eppinger Jr., 25, died Sept. 17 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was serving with the Army Reserve’s Appleton-based 395th Ordnance Company.

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner classified the death as a suicide. The full report from the Army’s six-month investigation was not available this week.

Eppinger’s family said in an email statement Tuesday they have not “been privy to the military’s investigative report.”

“We are not in agreement with the military’s investigative findings and fully reject their conclusion,” the family wrote, and requested privacy.

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20120516/APC0101/305160037/Appleton-soldier-s-family-disputes-military-ruling-cause-death?odyssey=nav%7Chead

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