Fallen Utah National Guardsman returning home

Local News

Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead (Utah National Guard)

DRAPER, Utah (ABC4) – A fallen Utah soldier is returning home.

During a September 21 water training exercise at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead was conducting a surface swim. Authorities say he went underwater and did not resurface.

A search for Olmstead began immediately but his body was not recovered until the next day. He was pronounced dead by Fort Campbell emergency medical services after being transported to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. The incident is still under investigation.

The Utah National Guard says Olmstead’s remains are returning home on Thursday, Sept. 30, and a Dignified Transfer will be conducted by members of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah National Guard, at the Salt Lake International Airport.

As the National Guard explains, Olmstead will be escorted by one of his fellow members on a commercial flight from Fort Campbell to Salt Lake City. Olmstead’s resting place will be in his hometown of Spring City, about 112 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Details about Olmstead’s arrival and route to the funeral home will not be released per the request of the Olmstead family, the National Guard says.

SLIDESHOW: Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead

“We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support to Lincoln’s family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time,” says Maj. Gen. Michael Turley, Adjutant General, Utah National Guard. “We understand the public’s desire to participate or observe the proceedings, but ask that we all respect the family’s desire for privacy while they mourn their great loss.”

Olmstead was born in Springville and graduated from North Sanpete High School in 2010. He was working toward a degree in mechanical engineering at Utah State University and joined the Utah Army National Guard in 2016. In 2019, Olmstead graduated as a Special Forces Engineer and was assigned to 1st Battalion,
19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Bluffdale.

Olmstead received the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Basic Parachutist Badge, and Military Freefall Parachutist Badge.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

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