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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Tuesday, January 01, 2019 03:00 PM

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Tennessee National Guardsman From Memphis Killed In California During Training Activity

FORT IRWIN, Calif. (WVLT) -- The Tennessee National Guard said Wednesday that Private First Class Tara Turnage of Memphis was killed Monday morning in a vehicular accident at the National training Center in Fort Irwin.

Details of the accidents were not immediately available due to pending investigations.

Private First Class Turnage was assigned to the Forward Support Company, Support Squadron and attached to G Troop, 1st Squadron of the 278th Armored Calvary Regiment. She drilled in Humboldt, Tennessee, and lived in Memphis.

The 278th ACR was dispatched to the National Training Center in order to prepare for multiple European deployments later this year.

"This was a very bad day for the Regiment and the Tennessee National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Max Haston. "My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy go out to her family and friends for our loss of this young soldier. Service to one's country that ends so tragically is the highest form of patriotism. Private First Class Turnage was a true patriot and we will miss her dearly."

“The NTC is a harsh and unforgiving desert environment and is the most advanced training area in the world. As a veteran of several NTC rotations and having experienced combat—the NTC is harder. This Soldier was doing her job in this harsh environment and had an accident. We mourn her loss and her absence will be felt throughout the Tennessee National Guard. I pray for her immediate family and her Guard family as we all hurt.”