Death of Andrew Cogswell

Andrew Cogswell joined the Army in 2006, at age 17. He loved boot camp. He had plans to go to college after he served his country. He was posted to Iraq with Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in January 2009. He went on his second week leave while in Iraq. The sergeant that filled in for him was killed. He was like a military dad to Andrew. Grief caused things to go downhill for Cogswell and he started having suicidal thoughts documented in his medical files. Cogswell took an absence without leave to clear his head, was declared A.W.O.L. for 2 months in Michigan, and come back to find his belongings gone. The military had auctioned off his belongings. He never got his things back. He was even handed a bill from the military for his missing gear and he lost his rank. Finally, in October of 2011 the Army released Andrew Cogswell under general discharge. He was penniless. he made his way back to Bellevue to live with his sister. May 31st, after serving 6 years in the army, he ended up taking his own life in his sister’s home in Bellevue. Another military family, Sergeant 1st Class Gerald Dodd and his wife, found his items in an auction in Ft. Hood, including his class uniform. The two foot lockers and large container belonged to a single soldier. His dress uniform, Army-issued gear and labeled bags all were inside, in addition to personal items. He collected tens of thousands of cards and video games, clothes and a guitar. They contacted his mother. Most of this was returned to the army who said it would be sent to his family within 24 hours. It never arrived. The Dodds had kept the uniform and made plans to hand deliver it to his mother.

About mcogswell2

I am a retired minister of the United Church of Canada. I am currently Editor of the Cogswell Courier, the newsletter of the Cogswell Family Association.
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