Mo. National Guardsman dies in Guatemala

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri National Guard soldier has been killed while participating in a training exercise in Guatemala.

Guard officials say 34-year-old Staff Sgt. Robert J. Traxel of Union died Monday after being struck in the head by a tree limb knocked down by wind generated by helicopter rotor blades.

Traxel was a public affairs broadcast specialist with the 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment out of Jefferson City. Officials say he joined the unit and Missouri National Guard in April after more than seven years of serving in the Army and Marines.

Traxel was a highly decorated soldier who served in Afghanistan in 2008 and in Iraq in 2011 with the Army.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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