A tragic incident unfolded at Fort Stewart military base in Georgia, as a family of four was found dead in their home. The Army confirmed the deaths of Staff Sgt. Meiziaha T. Cooper, her husband Desmond Cooper, and their two children, aged 4 and 9, on Friday, stating that the incident was “domestic in nature”. The children, identified by family members as Juice and Desmond Jr., were discovered after a welfare check was requested by Meiziaha Cooper’s unit.
The Army has yet to reveal the cause of death or identify the perpetrator of the violence. The incident has sent shockwaves through the military community, with Col. Jeremy S. Wilson, 3rd Infantry Division Deputy Commander of Operations, expressing his condolences and requesting privacy for the grieving family.
Staff Sgt. Meiziaha Cooper, who joined the military in October 2012, was a highly decorated culinary noncommissioned officer. Her accolades included four Army Commendation Medals and six Army Achievement Medals. Fellow soldiers remembered her as a dedicated and caring colleague, with one soldier, Michaela Greene, paying tribute to her on Facebook as “the best work mom anyone could ever ask for.”
Greene’s heartfelt tribute continued, “You showed up for us when you didn’t have to, you made sure you helped us with any goals and accomplishments that we wanted to pursue in the military, you were there for us when it came to our personal problems… you were a mentor, a mom but a FRIEND to us inexperienced soldiers.”
Another soldier, NCO Shan Collier, praised Meiziaha Cooper as “one of the biggest blessings God had to offer” Fort Stewart. She described how Cooper’s nurturing and selfless nature had a profound impact on her and many others at the base.
The Army confirmed that Desmond Cooper was a “prior service veteran,” but did not provide further details about his service or the circumstances of his discharge. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and it remains unclear whether the incident will be classified as a crime.
Fort Stewart, the largest Army post east of the Mississippi River, is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Savannah. This incident adds to a series of tragic events at the base, including the alleged murder of Sgt. Nathan Hillman by Spc. Shay A. Wilson last year, and a suicide involving a medical evacuation pilot.