Army Investigating Death of Fort Bragg Soldier in Africa


The Army is investigating the death of a Fort Bragg soldier deployed to Africa.

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Allan Bannister was found dead on the morning of Oct. 17 in Kenya, according to the 3rd Special Forces Group.

Bannister was in the country with his Special Forces team as part of a training mission, officials said. A suspected cause of death has not been released.

The Special Forces soldier, 33, lived in Sanford but was a native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, according to his family.

He was serving in Kenya as part of the 3rd Special Forces Group's 2nd Battalion.

Bannister served in the military for 14 years, first in the Marine Corps as an aircraft rescue firefighter before pursing a career as an Army Green Beret at age 26.

Bannister has two previous deployments to Afghanistan, according to his family. He earned three Bronze Star medals, including one with valor, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and numerous other unit and personal decorations.

He is survived by his wife, Lindsay, and parents, Scott and Kimberly Bannister of Portsmouth, Virginia.

According to an obituary, a memorial service for Bannister will be held Saturday, Oct. 29. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.

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