Young officer, athlete, graduate of West Point, dies first day of Ranger School. Apparent cause of death was lack of sodium in the blood. Tragic. Such preparation and high hopes, and the parents receive notice of something shocking like this.
But, it’s summer in the South and it’s hot. And military training goes beyond what most of us experience routinely. I post this mostly as a warning in the era of low-salt diets, and water bottles always in hand. The article warns that people can drink too much water, which lowers the level of sodium in the blood, possibly to dangerously low levels.
Even training is dangerous. Lots of physical exertion, suddenly intense, and often protracted over long periods of time; water, sleep, and food get interrupted; heavy equipment gets moved around, sometimes at night; terrain; heat; rain, cold. And, aircraft–lots of troops moved back and forth by helicopter. You should see a night helicopter insertion, complete with artillery pieces and vehicles slung below the choppers. Lots of big, heavy stuff shifting around out there. And, men mixed in among them. Vehicles moving out through all of the rest.
There is a cost to conducting hard training. But, the military must not let up.