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California Guardsman dies from cardiac arrest after training exercise

California Army National Guard

A staff sergeant with the California Army National Guard died following symptoms of a heart attack that came on during a training exercise Wednesday at Camp Roberts in San Luis Obispo County.

Forty-one-year-old Raul Escobedo was with the Guard’s 40th Infantry Division and was pronounced dead at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo Wednesday night.

According to Capt. Will Martin, Escobedo was participating in coordination efforts within a big tent, or headquarters unit, and wasn't doing anything physical. Martin believes the guardsman may have even been off his shift at the moment he suffered from cardiac arrest.

"At approximately 10:30 p.m., Escobedo exhibited symptoms of a heart attack, which led soldiers in the area to begin efforts to revive Escobedo," Capt. Will Martin said in a written statement.  

Martin said Escobedo had experienced chest pains earlier in the evening and was first taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, Calif., where he was examined before being released for duty by hospital personnel. 

Escobedo’s wife, also with the National Guard, was flown to Sierra Vista shortly after his death.

Escobedo is from Fullerton and served as an operations noncommissioned officer for the Division.

Grief counselors are on hand to comfort members of his family and the soldiers of his unit.