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Oregon National Guard soldier dies in non-combat incident in Kosovo

Oregon National Guard Pfc. Alexander Klass
Oregon Military Dept.
Oregon Army National Guard Pfc. Alexander Klass

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday the death of an Oregon Army National Guard soldier from Willamina, Oregon, who was supporting Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo.

Pfc. Alexander Blake Klass, 20, died as the result of a non-combat-related incident on Saturday, July 4, at Camp Novo Selo, Kosovo. The incident is under investigation, officials said.

Klass was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard, based in Springfield. 

Klass joined the Oregon Army National Guard on Jan. 19, 2019 as an infantryman. He mobilized in January of 2020 and was scheduled to return home from Kosovo in November.

“This is a tragic situation, and our primary focus is supporting the family during this difficult time," said Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast IV, Land Component Commander of the Oregon Army National Guard.

The family has requested a period of privacy for healing and reflection. "We ask that the community respects the family’s wishes at this time," the Oregon Military Department said.

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