VASSAR (WWJ/AP) – Officials say a 31-year-old soldier originally from Michigan who was deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan has died of a heart condition at Fort Benning, Ga.

Officials on Wednesday said Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Schlereth of Opelika, Ala., died suddenly Nov. 27 at the base.

Schlereth’s wife, Margaret, told the reporters that authorities investigating his death said his heart stopped when he collapsed in a hallway shortly after a meeting.

Schlereth was born in the Michigan community of Saginaw and previously lived in Vassar, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit.

Schlereth was a 1999 graduate of Vassar High School. He joined the Army afterward and was stationed most of his career at Fort Campbell, Ky. He more recently was stationed at Fort Benning as a reconnaissance course instructor.

Schlereth had received two bronze stars, among other honors. Schlereth leaves behind his wife and thier son, Caleb.

Family and friends set up a Facebook page to share pictures and fond memories of Schlereth to help them cope through this difficult time.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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