Geary County Sheriff and a widow seek answers to Fort Riley soldier deaths

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT)–Five Fort Riley soldiers have died since in less than two months. Four of those deaths happened off post.

Those recent deaths have many people asking questions and wanting answers, including Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf.

He said he is on a fact-find mission to find out why the deaths are happening and the details that came before the incidents.

“To try and find out what their perspective is on why were seeing so many of these soldiers committing suicide,” Sheriff Wolf said.

He said he wants to know what the root is of the problem, especially with the resources soldiers are given.

“Is there something going wrong that they’re not seeking out this help?” he asked. “Are they getting the help that they offer and if they are, then why isn’t that helping the situation?”

Sheriff Wolf isn’t the only one who has unanswered questions.

The wife of Staff Sgt. Garett Swift who was found dead in is home last week by Junction City Police, is also in the dark.

She said Sgt. Swift was suicidal since April. After going a-wol in April because he was suicidal the Army put him on a “watch” so they would always know his whereabouts. She said, the Army failed him and his family.

“We wouldn’t be sitting here talking about his, about him committing suicide,” Sartorius Swift said. “And I just feel like the Army just failed him. His commanders, everyone that was suppose to look out for him, just let him down.”

She said the Army hasn’t given her answers about her husbands death.

“Something is not going right, and with all the support that the soldiers have and having be given, it doesn’t make sense why there’s this rising number of suicide that’s happening,” she said.

That’s why Sheriff Wolf wants to keep asking questions.

“I don’t know if anybody has the right answer, but at least give us some kind of insight as to what’s going on from their perspective,” he said.

Sheriff Wolf said finding these answers isn’t something he can do alone. It’s going to take a team effort to get to the root of what’s going on.

It’s important to note, only one of the recent deaths have been confirmed to be death by suicide.

Sheriff Wolf told KSNT News Senator Jerry Moran’s office has contacted him and is wanting to join the effort to get answers.

We’ve reached out numerous times to officials at Fort Riley to learn more and we’re still waiting to get more information.

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