Soldier Dies During Non-Combat Related Incident in Kuwait

January 23, 2021Joshua Skovlund
Texas national guard

SSgt. Manchester. Photo courtesy of the Texas Army National Guard.

The Texas Military Department announced the death of 34-year-old Staff Sgt. Timothy Luke Manchester from a non-combat related incident Wednesday in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Manchester, above, was deployed in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

“We are devastated by the loss of one of our own. In this profession, we always know in the back of our mind that this is a possibility, but we hope it never comes to pass,” Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, the adjutant general for Texas, said. “The entire Texas Military Department sends our deepest condolences to Staff Sgt. Manchester’s family and loved ones he leaves behind. We are also keeping his fellow service members in our thoughts and prayers who are still overseas mourning the loss of their brother in arms.”

A noncommissioned officer with the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, headquartered in Austin, Manchester deployed with his division in September 2020.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Bermudez died in an earlier non-combat related incident while deployed in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Photo courtesy of the US Army.

Manchester — who was from Austin — joined the Texas Army National Guard in 2018 after serving in the US Marine Corps. His awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

The incident is under investigation, and a Texas Army National Guard spokesperson declined to give further details.  

The non-combat related death of Manchester follows a previous incident Jan. 11 that led to the death of another soldier who was deployed in support of Operation Spartan Shield. According to the Military Times’ Honor the Fallen website, 28-year-old US Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Bermudez died during a “routine troop movement” involving a vehicle accident. 

The crash injured two other soldiers. One soldier, a passenger, was in critical condition but is now considered stable as of Tuesday. The other soldier, the driver, was discharged Tuesday after treatment for non-serious injuries.

Bermudez, from Dallas, Texas, enlisted in 2011 as a small-arms and artillery repairer. He had been deployed since June and was on his first overseas tour at the time of his death.

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. He went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

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