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Army Investigating Death Of NH Soldier During Dive Training

MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS/AP) — The commander of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School says the death of a soldier from New Hampshire is "sobering reminder" of the dangerous training undertaken by the Special Forces.

The Army says 30-year-old Staff Sgt. David Whitcher of Bradford died Wednesday while dive training off of Key West, Florida. The death is under investigation.

Maj. Gen. James B. Linder said thoughts and prayers go to Whitcher's family, including his wife and son.

The combat veteran volunteered for U.S. Army Special Forces training in 2014. He was a student in the Combat Diver Qualification Course.

Officials say flags will be lowered to half-staff in New Hampshire for Whitcher's memorial service when it's announced.

"U.S. Army Special Forces Staff Sergeant David J. Whitcher was a decorated soldier whose service and sacrifice made our country safer and our freedom stronger," Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a statement. "As a former member of the New Hampshire National Guard, he exemplified the very best of the Granite State's strong tradition of service to our country during two deployments to Afghanistan."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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