Local News

82nd Airborne combat medic dies in Iraq

Posted July 3, 2010 12:40 p.m. EDT
Updated July 3, 2010 12:43 p.m. EDT

— A 19-year-old combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division died after being injured in a non-combat-related incident in Iraq Thursday.

Spc. Morganne M. McBeth, of Fredericksburg, Va., was injured in Khan Al Baghdadi and died Friday in Al Asad, the military announced Saturday. Details of the circumstances surrounding her death were not released.

McBeth belonged to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg.

"Morganne treated all of her patients with unsurpassed compassion, regardless of their injury or illness severity," Lt. Abraham Medina Jr., a phyiscian's assistant who served with McBeth, said in a statement.

"(Her) vivid smile and attitude were contagious," he continued. "Regardless of how rough your day may have been, if Morganne entered the room, you were going to smile. Her spunky character and selflessness will be remembered by all who were privileged enough to have met her."

McBeth joined the Army in July 2008 and underwent basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She was assigned to Fort Bragg in February 2009 and deployed to Iraq last August.

"McBeth had a positive impact on all the paratroopers within the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion and will be dearly missed," brigade commander Lt. Col. Douglas Stitt said. "She was always quick with a smile and looked after her fellow paratroopers with keen diligence and respect."

McBeth's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Basic Parachutist Badge.

She is survived by her father, Leonard McBeth, and her stepmother, Sylvia McBeth.

A memorial in her honor will be held in Iraq.

"The 1BSTB Medical Platoon mourns the loss of a paratrooper, combat medic and a magnificent young lady," Medina said. "Most importantly, we are thankful to have had the opportunity to share life alongside Morganne Marie McBeth."