20-year-old paratrooper from Saratoga County dies in training at Fort Bragg

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Fort Bragg originally said Jenks was 21-years-old, her family confirmed that she was 20. The story has been updated to reflect that.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — Fort Bragg has identified the paratrooper who died during a training operation on Monday. The 82nd Airborne Division identifies the paratrooper as Spc. Abigail Jenks, 20, of Gansevoort, New York.

“Abigail was always happy, goal-oriented, and well-liked by students and staff.  We are fortunate to have had her here at Saratoga Springs High School and we are proud of her service to our country. Our sincere condolences go out to family and friends,” said Counselor Geoff Loiacono of the Saratoga Springs School District.

Spc. Abigail Jenks

Jenks was serving as a forward observer in Headquarters and Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd BCT.

Fort Bragg officials said Jenks was conducting a static-line jump from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter when she suffered the fatal injury.

“Spc. Jenks was a dedicated Paratrooper, gifted forward observer, loyal friend, and talented artist who consistently made a tremendous impact on all around her. She will be dearly missed. We are ensuring every resource is available to her family and peers to help them during this difficult time,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Walsh, commander of the 1-319th AFAR.

Jenks was a three-time volunteer who enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 2018. She was assigned to Fort Bragg as a paratrooper in June 2019.

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner said, “My heart is with the family of U.S. Army Specialist Abigail Jenks, who was killed in a training exercise at Fort Bragg this week. Our military personnel put their lives on the line and work tirelessly to keep us safe, both on the front lines and training here at home. With gratitude for Spc. Abigail Jenks’ life and her service to our nation, please join me in lifting up her family and friends in prayer as they navigate this difficult time.”

Governor Cuomo ordered all flags on state buildings to be flown at half-staff starting April 22 through Jenks’ internment in recognition.

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