Family mourns Miami-Dade Airman who died in Korea

Training mission turns deadly for 23-year-old Airman First Class

MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Airman First Class Darrick Jones, who graduated from Miami South Ridge High School, died Monday in South Korea, and his family still doesn't understand the circumstances of his death. 

Jones, 23, was assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in 2016. His parents said they didn't think he was in any danger in Anchorage, Alaska.

They didn't know the water and fuels systems apprentice was working with a civil engineering squadron, and he was on a temporary assignment to train his South Korean counterparts. According to the military his death was sudden.

"The grief felt as a result of the loss of Airman 1st Class Jones cannot be overstated," Col. George T.M. Dietrich III, commander of the 673d Air Base Wing, said in a statement.

Jones' family is confused about the news that he collapsed and died. They didn't expect to get a visit from the military notifying them of his death. They remember he was really healthy and they weren't aware of any medical condition.  

Before joining the military in 2015, Jones was a runner and a member of National Society of High School Scholars. He belonged to Miami South Ridge High School's cross country and track team. The return of remains ceremony wasn't public and the military helped them with funeral arrangements.  

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