LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A marine recruit from Las Cruces died after he collapsed during a training exercise last month. In a statement released on Saturday, the Marine Corps says Pfc. Javier Pong “became unconscious and unresponsive” while “conducting scheduled training” at Camp Pendleton near San Diego on Sept. 27.


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The 18-year-old died at the naval hospital there. Pong’s obituary says he spent his whole life in Las Cruces and graduated from Mayfield this year before joining the Marine Corps. The military did not specify how he died or why it waited 11 days to report his death. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports in-service military training deaths are typically announced within 24 hours.