Schofield soldier, hurt in Iraq, dies
By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer
A Schofield Barracks soldier from Pearl City died Friday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington of a noncombat injury in Iraq, the Pentagon said yesterday.
Staff Sgt. Randy S. Agno, 29, died from wounds received April 27 at Forward Operating Base Olsen in Samarra, Iraq, the Pentagon said.
Agno was assigned to the 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks.
The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation, the military said. It was the 3rd Brigade's fourth noncombat death, and seventh overall, since the unit was deployed last fall.
Agno, a 1997 graduate of Pearl City High School, joined the Army in 1998 and was assigned to Hawai'i in 2001.
He was a food service specialist. In 2006, Agno was named Junior Army Chef of the Year at the Army's 31st Annual Culinary Arts Competition.
Agno earned numerous awards during his career, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Arrowhead, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Schofield's 3rd Brigade, with 3,500 soldiers, has experienced a spate of noncombat deaths in Iraq since it deployed in October and November on a 12-month tour.
There have been four noncombat deaths compared to three deaths related to combat.
Noncombat deaths can be due to natural causes, a vehicle or other accident, friendly fire, homicide or suicide. Eight out of 11 deaths in a combat zone this year involving troops with Hawai'i ties have been as a result of noncombat causes, which largely go unexplained.
A Schofield Barracks soldier was charged last month with involuntary man-slaughter in one of those deaths — the January shooting of a fellow Hawai'i soldier in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.
The death of Pfc. Sean P. McCune was the result of a "negligent discharge" of Sgt. Miguel A. Vegaquinones' weapon, the military said.
McCune, 20, of Euless, Texas, died after allegedly being shot by Vegaquinones following the completion of their guard-shift duty in Samarra on Jan. 11, according to a Multi-National Corps-Iraq news release.