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Family of Deceased Soldier Questions Heat in Training Death

National Guard

FORT SMITH, Ark.  — The family of an Arkansas National Guard soldier who died while training at Fort Chaffee suggests that stifling heat in the area caused the soldier to fall ill.

Sgt. Sylvester B. Cline of Pine Bluff died Tuesday night at a Fort Smith hospital. Cline was assigned to Company A, 39th Brigade Support Battalion of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The guard says Cline's cause of death is under investigation, and a spokesman didn't return a message seeking comment late Thursday from The Associated Press on a possible cause of the death.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports at least one of Cline's family members says the victim was training in high heat in Army fatigues and "nobody was paying any attention to him and other men sweating and passing out."

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