FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) – A Fort Bragg soldier was found dead in his off-post home on Sept. 21, the public affairs officer for the 18th Field Artillery Brigade said in a news release Saturday.
The soldier, who has been identified as 1st Sgt. Lafonte Bennett, 34, of Moultrie, Georgia, served in the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, according to officials.
Bennett entered active duty in 2000 and was assigned as a field sergeant in the 18th Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Bragg in June 2015.
“1st Sgt. Bennett was an outstanding leader who had a remarkably positive influence on his soldiers,” said Col. John Rafferty, the commander of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade. “1st Sgt. Bennett’s service to our Army and nation has been nothing short of exceptional. He was widely respected for his extensive combat experience and technical expertise. His leadership ability was emulated by Soldiers of all ranks and career fields. The 18th Field Artillery Brigade will never forget 1st Sgt. Lafonte Bennett. We send our sincerest condolences to the family, fellow Soldiers and friends of 1st Sgt. Bennett in this time of mourning.”
Bennett had served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He had been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, the Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Pathfinder Badge, according to the news release.
The circumstances surrounding Bennett’s death are currently under investigation.