Pa. soldier died from 'huffing' in Iraq
November 30, 2006
ALLENTOWN, Pa. --A Pennsylvania National Guard soldier found dead in his room in Iraq in March accidentally killed himself by inhaling gases from a container of pressurized air to get high, an Army investigation concluded.
Frederick Carlson IV, 25, was found unconscious in his room at the base in Taqqadum, near Fallujah, shortly before 6 p.m. March 26, The Morning Call of Allentown wrote in an article published Thursday. The paper got the information from an Army report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Investigators found a can of compressed air near Carlson's bunk and a colleague said he remembered him "huffing" fumes at least once before.
Huffing -- inhaling the chemicals given off by glue, aerosols and other substances -- replaces oxygen in a person's lungs. It can be fatal when too much oxygen is replaced.
Carlson, of Bethlehem, served as a cook with the 228th Forward Support Battalion, but guard officials said he volunteered for duty on the rapid-response force, providing security for military convoys.
"He could have stayed on base, yet he volunteered for dangerous missions outside the wire," said Capt. Cory Angell, a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesman. "It's tragic that he got caught up in using inhalants."