- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (AP) - A soldier who had told his family he did not want to return to Iraq apparently killed himself in a Puerto Rican motel days before he was to join his unit and head back to the war zone, police in the U.S. territory said Monday.

Army Spc. Nokware Rosado Munoz, 28, had been arguing with his pregnant wife about his upcoming redeployment before hanging himself Sunday, said Lt. Edilberto Rivera Santiago, director of the police homicide division in the San Juan suburb of Bayamon.

“They were having problems because he had been activated again,” Rivera said.

Rosado was scheduled to rejoin his unit at Fort Bliss, Texas, this week, before moving on to Iraq.

The soldier’s mother-in-law, Migdalia Estrada, was quoted by newspaper El Nuevo Dia as saying that Rosado was receiving psychiatric treatment stemming from a previous Iraq deployment.

“He had said to my daughter that he didn’t want to go back to Iraq,” Estrada said. “I don’t understand how they can order him back if he was having problems.”

An Army official in San Juan, Felix Santiago, said the military was cooperating with Puerto Rican authorities in an investigation. Officials in Fort Bliss had no immediate comment.

Suicides in the Army have increased yearly since 2004 as soldiers deal with longer and repeated tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army had its highest rate of suicide on record in 2008 with at least 129 confirmed cases.

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