Pilot Mountain soldier dies after being found unresponsive in barracks


U.S. Army Spc. Gregory Justin Pike

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PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. — A soldier from Surry County died last week after he was found unresponsive in his barracks in Texas, military officials said Tuesday.

U.S. Army Spc. Gregory Justin Pike, 24, of Pilot Mountain, was found unresponsive in his Fort Hood barracks room on June 8.  He was pronounced dead later that day, a Fort Hood spokesperson said.

Military officials are investigating the cause of death, the spokesperson said.

Pike entered active-duty service in May 2010 as a cavalry scout.

He was deployed to Iraq from January 2011 to November 2011 as part of Operation New Dawn.

Surry County Schools spokeswoman Sonia Dickerson said Pike attended East Surry High School, but left the school in 2005 before graduating.  Dickerson did not have any information as to where Pike may have moved to or graduated from. 

Pike was assigned to Troop A, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood in December 2010.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and Driver and Mechanic Badge.

No other details about the incident were provided.

Pike’s death comes less than three weeks after another service member from the Piedmont Triad — Marine Pvt. Anthony Romano-Caruso, 19, of Alamance — was found dead in his barracks at Fort Meade in Maryland.

Few details have been released concerning Romano-Caruso’s death, but military officials said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was investigating. NCIS investigates all non-combat deaths of Navy and Marine Corps members that are not the result of disease or natural causes.

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