The National Guard said Sgt. Gaudette’s most recent assignment was with the LANG’s Task Force COVID, assisting with the testing and vaccinations for institutes of higher learning.
LSU and multiple other colleges in Louisiana have mandated the vaccine for students. The National Guard has been manning the testing and vaccination sites.
The soldier, whose name was withheld pending next-of-kin notification, was pronounced dead by medical officials at the state’s complex for emergency operations, according to the Louisiana National Guard. The parking lot is part of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, which brings together several state, local and nongovernment agencies to manage emergency situations.
A National Guard soldier died Friday morning in what sources close to the situation described as a suicide outside a state office.
Very possible this was about Afghanistan:
Sgt. Gaudette was a Baton Rouge resident and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2001, but joined the Louisiana National Guard in 2014, serving as an infantryman and combat engineer.
‘This Is Devastating to So Many’: VA Sounds Alarm About Mental Health Crisis For Afghanistan Vets
Veterans Affairs chief of staff Tanya Bradsher sent out an email that day to her senior staff. “My veteran network is reeling and I am sure yours are as well,” Bradsher wrote. “Can we highlight in our comms channels that VA has resources available? I am thinking of the vet centers in particular but open to all resources. This is devastating to so many.”
Similar reports were pouring in from veterans centers and groups across the country. Perhaps it was the way that it ended that affected so many so deeply.
h/t Daniel Higdon