Brig. Gen. Milford H. ‘Beags’ Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson commander, speaks about the Fort Jackson suicide prevention during the Commanding General’s Virtual Town Hall Sept. 24. Joining him are (from left) Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Rodie Lamb, deputy garrison chaplain, and Col. Jeremiah Stubbs from Moncrief Army Health Clinic.
Leader Staff Reports
The biweekly Fort Jackson Commanding General’s Virtual Town Hall on Sept. 24 focused on those Soldiers the installation has lost in the past year.
In September, Fort Jackson spent time recognizing the service members from South Carolina who lost their lives defending the nation.
“I wanted to start today to clarify what we lost here at Fort Jackson,” said Brig. Gen. Milford H. “Beags” Beagle Jr, Fort Jackson’s commander. We can “never forget that being in the Army, or being in any of our services, is a dangerous business and sometimes we lose sight of that.”
Beagle said the town halls are where the post provides information about what’s happening with Soldiers and what we are doing in training to “not only inform our local community here, but our community outside of the installation.”
The town hall “is about informing about a lot of Army things and keeping you aware, abreast and apprised of everything we are doing in this environment under COVID conditions,” he added.
In an effort to be transparent, Beagle said, “From 2019 to now we have lost Soldiers in this training environment.” There have been five Fort Jackson Soldiers who have died in the past year: Pfc. Andrew McLean, Pfc. Connor McGurran, Sgt. 1st Class Maxwell Besch, Pvt. Angel Cortes-Torres and Pvt. Michael J. Wise.
For McLean, McGurran and Cortes-Torres we “lost those Soldiers at a point in time where they were early in their training,” Beagle said. The three had health conditions “we were unaware of and things we would never have known.”
“We are always terribly sorry to have a loss,” he added.
Beagle next addressed suicides.
Unfortunately there are suicides across the armed services and we cannot always “pinpoint” a reason why, Beagle said before offering “insights and some things I think will help your Soldier.”
Beagle was joined by Col. Jeremiah Stubbs with Moncrief Army Health Clinic, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Rodie Lamb, deputy garrison chaplain, and remotely by Leslie Ann Sully, from the Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office.
Lamb offered a prayer for the Families of the Soldiers who passed and “honor the memory of our fallen comrades who have departed our ranks.”
He also laid out some ways to help combat stress in the COVID environment.
“When you have healthy relationships you have healthy families, have a healthy work environment and performance … healthy relationships all around,” Lamb said. The Fort Jackson Religious Support Office is hosting the Financial Peace University Oct. 23, a pre-marriage workshop Nov. 13, and Love and Money Matters workshop Nov. 19.
Upcoming events include October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Victory Bingo resumes Oct. 2, National Night Out Oct. 6, Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23. On-post bowling is scheduled to resume within one to two weeks.
To hear more of the town hall, and to learn more about Fort Jackson watch the video at: https://www.facebook.com/fortjackson/videos/1216590045406373.
The next virtual town hall is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 8 and can be viewed on the Commanding General’s Facebook page.