Tuesday, October 16, 2012
An Army investigation into the death of Spc. Mikayla Bragg found the 20-year-old soldier killed herself in a guard tower in Afghanistan last December. The probe also found Bragg's superiors had no idea she had received in-patient mental health treatment just months before leaving for Afghanistan, according to documents obtained by the Longview Daily News.
The Daily News reports Bragg, a native of Longview, Washington, had previously attempted suicide while based at Fort Knox, a fact that was also unknown to her commanding officers.
Bragg had previously been taking prescribed anti-anxiety medication, but weaned herself off of the meds in order to be able to deploy, according to the Army investigation.
Six months later, on December 21, Bragg shot herself while she was stationed along at a guard tower at Forward Operating Base Salerno.
An unnamed brigade behavioral health officer stationed at Camp Salerno said in the Army report:
"It is my opinion that (Bragg) 'fell through the cracks' created by the lack of information sharing that had been repeatedly requested and denied."
Suicide is killing as many soldiers as combat. According to the Army's own data, there have been 80 confirmed soldier suicides in 2012, with an additional 51 suspected suicides still under investigation.