FORT HOOD — Army officials are releasing few details about an Indiana National Guard soldier who died after arriving for training recently at Fort Hood, but they are saying foul play is not suspected and it was not a training accident.
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Boner, 43, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, died early Saturday. Circumstances of his death are under investigation by Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID.
“I can tell you at this point in the investigation, we do not suspect foul play,” said Chris Grey, spokesman for CID. “That is all the information we are releasing at this time to protect the integrity of the investigative process.”
Grey clarified on Wednesday that the death is not considered a training accident.
Boner was an active Guard Reserve soldier who worked in Marion, Indiana, for the 38th Sustainment Brigade, according to Indiana National Guard spokesman Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry. About 250 members of the unit left last week for training at Fort Hood prior to a deployment to Kuwait. It is common for Guard units to train at Fort Hood prior to a deployment.
Over a career spanning 22 years of service, Boner was an automated logistical specialist who served in a deployment to Iraq in 2009. He originally enlisted in the Indiana Guard in June 1992 as a motor transport operator before transferring to the active duty Army in May 1995 for a three-year tour. He then served in the Illinois Army National Guard until June 2000, took a three year break and re-entered the Indiana Guard in June 2003, where he served until his death.
“For those who knew and worked with Sgt. 1st Class Boner, he was respected and admired for his great love for his country and family,” Col. Kimberly Martindale, commander of the 38th Sustainment Brigade, said in a statement on the unit’s website. “He was an inspiration to us all, always doing something for someone else and never taking credit for it. My deepest sympathy for his family at this sad and difficult time.”
His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star, two Iraqi Campaign Medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Drivers/Mechanics Badge, Indiana Long Service Medal, Indiana Emergency Service Ribbon, the Indiana Military Volunteer Emblem and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
According to the unit website, Boner was a proud father and grandfather.