WILLAMINA — A Oregon Army National Guard soldier from Willamina died July 4 in a non-combat related incident while serving in Operation Joint Guardian at Camp Novo Selo, Kosovo, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday.
Pfc. Alexander Blake Klass, 20, was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon National Guard of Springfield. The incident that took Klass’ life is under investigation, according to the DOD.
“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 Command Commander, Oregon Army National Guard.
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.
“The family has requested a period of privacy for healing and reflection,” read a news release from the Oregon Military Department. “We ask that the community respects the family’s wishes at this time.”