Fort Bliss soldiers who went AWOL in December found, Army says
SAN ANTONIO — Two soldiers who went missing in December from their post at Fort Bliss were apprehended and returned to duty in late January and February, the Army said Wednesday, ending a bizarre double AWOL incident.
Army Pvts. Melvin Jones and Jake Obad-Mathis, both 20 years old and assigned to the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, were apprehended by law enforcement agencies on Jan. 27 and Feb. 26, respectively, a 1st Armored Division spokesman said.
The soldiers were last seen together Dec. 19 in a car owned by Jones, Stars and Stripes reported in January. Obad-Mathis was reported AWOL when he failed to show up for duty the next day, while Jones, who was on leave, was not considered AWOL until Jan. 3.
Army officials cooperated with law enforcement agencies to find and apprehend the solders, the official said, adding that the incident is under investigation.
Army officials did not immediately respond to questions regarding possible disciplinary actions taken against the two soldiers for the violation.
Obad-Mathis was AWOL for more than 30 days, which is when an AWOL soldier is dropped from the duty roster and declared a deserter, an Army personnel spokeswoman told Stars and Stripes in January.
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