Paratrooper from Medina dies in Fort Bragg training exercise - The Buffalo News
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Paratrooper from Medina dies in Fort Bragg training exercise

The Medina community is mourning the loss of Sgt. Shaina B. Schmigel.

The Army paratrooper died during a training accident Friday at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Schmigel, 21, who is originally from Batavia, moved to Medina as a freshman in high school. She joined the Army after she graduated from high school in 2010.

She was participating in a T-11 airborne training exercise, using a parachute, at Holland Drop Zone when she died. The Army is still investigating the cause of her death.

Mark Kruzynski, the principal of Medina High School, said the Medina community is “very deeply saddened” by Schmigel’s death. He recalled when she moved to Medina from Batavia her freshman year of high school.

“When she moved here, she made friends right away, really impressed all the teachers and she got really involved in the school as well,” said Kruzynski, who was the assistant principal while Schmigel was a student.

Schmigel, who graduated with a Regents diploma, was a cheerleader. She was also on the track team, in which she ran the 800-meter and 1,500-meter races, Kruzynski said.

“It didn’t really shock anybody when she said she was going to join the military because she was just that type of person who was always pushing herself and always full of energy,” Kruzynski said. “We’re very proud of her and this is very sad for the whole school.”

Schmigel was an intelligence analyst with the 37th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Combat Team, In 2011, she served a tour in Iraq with the brigade. She had recently re-enlisted in the Army for another four years, Kruzynski said.

She often visited Medina High School when she was home, interacting with teachers and students, including her 16-year-old sister, Kruzynski said.

“She’s got a younger sister here, and whenever she had leave, she would stop in and visit, take a tour, surprise her sister,” Kruzynski said. “She was a great role model for everybody here.”

Kruzynski said he has not yet spoken to Schmigel’s parents.


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