Fort Stewart soldier dies after suffering medical emergency onboard flight to training exercise

Private First Class Kaleb Franklin

Georgia's Fort Stewart military base is mourning the loss of one of its soldiers who died while en route to the National Training Center in California.

Officials with Fort Stewart tell FOX 5 that 26-year-old Private First Class Kaleb H. Franklin on his way with a group of soldier to California for a training exercise when he suffered a medical emergency during the flight.

The unit's medical personnel began resuscitation as the flight made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas. Medics rushed Franklin to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Franklin, who was assigned to the 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, had served nearly three years of active-duty service and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

"On Tuesday afternoon, while en route to participate in a combat training rotation in California, the Spartan Family suddenly lost Pfc. Kaleb Franklin," said Col. Ethan J. Diven, commander of the "Spartan Brigade," 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. "Our hearts mourn his unexpected passing, a fellow Spartan with so much potential. We offer our deepest condolences to the Family. Our first priority is supporting them as well as the Soldiers in his unit and honoring his legacy in our brigade."

Franklin's cause of death is still under investigation.