Lawmaker Calls For Investigation After Second Dead Marine Recruit Identified

USMC/Lance Cpl. Carlin Warren/Handout via Reuters.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell is calling for an immediate investigation into the details surrounding the death of a second Marine recruit at Parris Island this year, Zachary Boland.

Boland, part of the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, was found unconscious in his bed Friday evening before he was quickly transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital and later declared dead. No one knows the cause of death–at least as of now, Marine Corps Times reports.

“I was deeply disturbed to learn of the recent incidents at Parris Island, including the death of a second recruit,” Dingell said Monday, according to Marine Corps Times. “Since the death of Raheel Siddiqui earlier this year, I’ve been working to get answers for his family and ensure the Marine Corps has processes in place to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”

Boland’s death is the third major incident to plague the Marine Corps training depot at Parris Island, S.C., this year alone.

Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui apparently committed suicide in March after falling down a roughly 40-foot stairwell.

The reason why news of Boland’s death is causing such havoc is because fatalities are actually relatively rare at Parris Island. One drill instructor died in base housing in 2014. Another recruit died in 2009 following his completion of the physical fitness test. Another drowned in 2005.

But this year has been different. According to an investigation, Siddiqui threatened to commit suicide and said he was physically beaten by drill instructors.

The latest incident took place Oct. 24. A recruit fell off a two-story building and remains in critical condition, which means the tally of deaths this year could potentially rise to three. While the Marine Corps hasn’t officially released his name, friends have identified him as Kristian Gashaj.

“I want the facts on Friday’s tragedy, but the loss of a second recruit raises serious questions,” Dingell said. “I am committed to getting to the root of this issue. The men and women who sign up to serve our country should not be dying in boot camp, and this third incident within eight months must be investigated thoroughly and expeditiously. I have already reached out to my colleagues in the Congress from Michigan to help ensure that.”

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