WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) –A 35-year-old man drowned while swimming laps and doing a military exercise at the West Valley Family Fitness Center Saturday afternoon.

Lt. Wyckoff with West Valley City Police said they were dispatched around 2:30 p.m. to the rec center located at 5415 West 3100 South, where Cpt. Corey Holmgren had been swimming.

Holmgren was doing a military exercise, teaching others how to hold their breath under water. He came up and gasped then sunk into the water. Lifeguards jumped in to save him and first responders were called to the scene.

Life-saving efforts were attempted and Holmgren was transported to the hospital, where he died, Lt. Wyckoff says. 

The family said Holmgren was a very strong swimmer and had “done this exercise many times since middle school.”

Holmgren was a member of the Utah National Guard.

“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Cpt. Holmgren.  He was a phenomenal chaplain and Soldier and his loss will be felt deeply within our ranks,” said Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard. “Our prayers are with his wife and children.”

Holmgren was a member of the 19th Special Forces Group at Camp Williams in Bluffdale. He was on orders at Camp Williams supporting a Yellow Ribbon event for Special Forces Soldiers and recently returned from deployment overseas. 

“Today is a sad day having lost a friend, brother, husband, father, and patriot,” said Col. Gerald White, senior chaplain for the Utah National Guard. “May we remember how fragile and precious each day and moment we have is.”

The family said in a statement on the GoFundMe that Holmgren leaves behind a wife and three children. They are expecting a fourth child in March.

“Corey served as a Captain in the Utah National Guard as a Chaplain. In addition to his military service, Corey worked full-time at LifeStar Network as a Marriage and Family Therapist where he devoted his life to helping others. His biggest joy came from being a father and husband. We hope–if you are able–that you will consider the challenges that Mindi and her family will face as she continues to raise her children, and donate to lessen the burden. If you are unable to donate, please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.”

A GofundMe has been set up for anyone wishing to help the family. You can also use Venmo @corey-holmgren