CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement on the death of U.S. Army Special Forces Staff Sergeant and former New Hampshire National Guard member David J. Whitcher of Bradford during a training exercise in Florida:
“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.
“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. Tom and I join all Granite Staters in mourning his loss and coming together in support of David’s family, loved ones, fellow soldiers and community.”
According to WMUR, Whitcher, 30, died Wednesday while dive training off of Key West, Fla., and his death is under investigation. He enlisted in the New Hampshire National Guard in 2008 as a carpentry and masonry specialist and served two tours in Afghanistan, WMUR reported. Gov. Hassan will direct flags to half-staff on the day of Whitcher’s memorial service once announced.
UPDATED at 7:30 p.m. (Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement on the passing of Army Staff Sgt. David Whitcher:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of Army Staff Sgt. David Whitcher’s passing,” said Senator Shaheen. “Having served two tours in Afghanistan with the New Hampshire National Guard, Staff Sgt. Whitcher rests among an elite group of men and women who have served their country to protect the ideas fundamental to our? democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Whitcher’s family and his loved ones as they mourn his passing and honor his service.”