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Oct 1, 2021

Well-known B.D.F. Soldier Major Eric Neal Passes

Well-known B.D.F. soldier, Major Eric Neal passed away this morning at the Western Regional Hospital after two days of hospitalization. While the result of a PCR test is pending, within the past forty-eight hours two rapid tests have turned up negative. Neal experienced difficulty breathing on Wednesday and by today he was dead. News of his passing spread like wildfire as the country mourns the death of the decorated officer. Duane Moody has the story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today, flags are being flown at half-mast at the Ministry of Defence in Belmopan as the B.D.F. mourns the loss of Major Eric Neal. Neal was the Commander of the Echo Company within the force, but this morning, he passed away at the Western Regional Hospital.

 

Lt. Col. Anthony Velasquez

Lt. Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

“Broken to say that one of our own, Major Eric Neal has passed in the early hours of this morning. He served the B.D.F. for seventeen years seven months – a very dedicated officer. His voice and his presence will indeed be missed and even today here on Price Barracks, you see everybody is just heartbroken.

He had a pre-existing condition and he was suffering illness for a period of time and he was hospitalised about a day ago and unfortunately he succumbed to his illness.”

 

Major Neal was a diabetic and battled asthma. But earlier this week, he had to be rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital. (FS) In a social media post, he said his soldiers carried his limp body as he felt like he was at the end. (FS) He then posted on Thursday afternoon, “Sorry I can’t speak because I am struggling to breathe. Please be patient.” That was the last correspondence from the officer.

 

Isani Cayetano

Isani Cayetano, Friend of Deceased

“We’re constantly in dialogue with each other all day every day. On Wednesday he had posted in our group that he was off to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing. We were in constant dialogue with each other – himself, myself the group and everybody else. And so yesterday several of us made attempts to reach out to him – either by text message or by phone call to find out what’s going on, what was the latest in terms of his health situation. But he never did respond. I personally tried calling him like six different times yesterday, sent him messages and he never responded. This morning I didn’t get on my device to follow up on anything, but I got a call that said that well he passed away and I really couldn’t believe it. I am still in a state of shock.”

 

B.D.F. Chief of Staff shares his take on the senior officer.

 

Lt. Col. Anthony Velasquez

“He was an outspoken officer. His voice and presence is needed and will be surely missed. He based his career on advocating for the rights of soldiers and his impact on the morale and welfare of the soldiers will be felt.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Major Eric Neal dead at forty-one.


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