SEATTLE – A Washington National Guard soldier, who was a state trooper in his civilian life, has died in Iraq in a noncombat related incident, the Defense Department said Sunday.
First Lt. David A. Bauders, 25, died Friday on Al Asad Air Base. He was assigned to the Washington State National Guard's 176th Engineer Company of Snohomish, Wash, the Defense Department said.
Capt. Joseph Siemandel of the Washington National Guard said the 176th Engineer Company constructed buildings and other structures. They had been deployed in Kuwait and Iraq since April.
Siemandel says the cause of Bauders' death is still being investigated.
Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, adjutant general of Washington National Guard, noted that Bauders devoted his time to better both the state and the nation.
"That is how we will remember him — a selfless soldier willing to put others first," Daugherty said in a statement.
Bauders was sworn in as a state trooper in March 2014 and patrolled North Seattle and King County. He joined the state patrol in 2013, as a trooper cadet assigned to the property management division and entered the academy in 2014, according to Chief John Batiste.
"Although early into his career with us, David was a very well-liked and highly respected member of the agency's District 2 family," Batiste said in a statement.
Bauders was born in Watertown, N.Y., and graduated from high school in Forest Grove, Ore. He earned a bachelor's degree, with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology, from the University of Portland. He was single and did not have any children.