AP: Documents Shed New Light on Suicide of Idaho Airman

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Chris and Sue Anderson, parents of Kelsey Anderson, sat with Boise Weekly this summer, sifting through legal documents as they prepared to sue the federal government for answers about the death of their daughter, who--Air Force officials say--died of a self-inflicted gunshot while on duty at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam in 2011. - GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
  • Chris and Sue Anderson, parents of Kelsey Anderson, sat with Boise Weekly this summer, sifting through legal documents as they prepared to sue the federal government for answers about the death of their daughter, who--Air Force officials say--died of a self-inflicted gunshot while on duty at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam in 2011.



The death of Kelsey Anderson defied reason. The 19-year-old Orofino High School graduate was well loved by her family and close-knit community; known for her ambition, hard work and competitive spirit. That's why her death—apparently from suicide at Andersen Air Force Base, where she was stationed as an airman in 2011—came as such a shock.

Her mother and father, Chris and Sue Anderson, with whom Boise Weekly spent time at their Orofino home this summer, were shattered as well as mystified, then increasingly angry as the U.S. Air Force dodged questions about the events leading up to their daughter's death. Two years after her death and countless failed attempts to get answers from officials about why their daughter might have taken her own life, the Andersons took the matter to court—suing the Air Force in U.S. District Court to release files related to the investigation of Kelsey's death.

Apparently, the Andersons finally got a response.

According to the Associated Press, the couple received documents in July—around the time they were contacted by Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh—including hundreds of pages from military investigators. AP received the same files after a records request and released a report of the findings Sept. 13.

From the AP report, Kelsey Anderson was very unhappy with her assignment to Andersen Air Force Base and made repeated attempts and requests for reassignment—even to be discharged. 

Newly released military records paint a picture of Kelsey Anderson, 19, as desperately unhappy with her posting at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam--so much so that she lied to officials to effect a reassignment and was placed on a "do not arm" list over concerns about her mental health. - U.S. AIR FORCE
  • U.S. Air Force
  • Newly released military records paint a picture of Kelsey Anderson, 19, as desperately unhappy with her posting at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam--so much so that she lied to officials to effect a reassignment and was placed on a "do not arm" list over concerns about her mental health.

Records go on to state that in May 2011—about a month before Anderson was found dead of a gunshot wound from her service pistol on June 9—she was referred to counseling and had her weapons privileges suspended on concerns over her mental health, AP reported.

Among other details, it was revealed that Anderson went so far as to lie to Air Force officials to effect a transfer, claiming her mother had cancer when in fact she did not.

AP reports the Andersons have since dropped their lawsuit against the Air Force.


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