Fort Bragg to Honor Soldier Who Died Last Month


A Fort Bragg soldier who died last month will be honored on post this week.

Lt. Col. Jorge Melendez was serving as a security assistance team leader responsible for training partnered military forces in the Republic of Colombia at the time of his death.

He died Oct. 10 of unspecified natural causes at Broward Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to officials.

Melendez, 44, of Cayey, Puerto Rico, was part of the Fort Bragg-based U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization, a brigade-level command of about 300 soldiers who deploy across the world to train partner nations, often as part of foreign military sales.

The unit will host a memorial ceremony for Melendez on Thursday at Fort Bragg's Main Post Chapel at 2 p.m. A visitation, viewing and funeral was held in Puerto Rico last month.

Melendez was commissioned in 1994 and served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His commander, Col. Gerald Boston, said he "was a dedicated officer, a consummate professional and a proven combat leader."

"He was forward deployed and fully engaged in building capacity with our Colombian partners," Boston said. "Like so many of our soldiers, he was part of a team that forms a decisive component of our Army's regional engagement priorities. We are deeply saddened by his untimely death; it is a great loss for us all."

Melendez is survived by his spouse and their two children.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the Melendez family asks anyone wishing to honor his memory to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project by mailing a check to P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675; calling 855-448-3997; or online at Donations should be specified "in honor of Lt. Col. Jorge Melendez."

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