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Iowa National Guard Airman drowns in Puerto Rico

The Iowa National Guard regrets to announce the death of Staff Sgt. Cory A. Mildenstein (“MILL dun steen”), 49, of Sioux City, Iowa. Mildenstein drowned in the Atlantic Ocean while swimming near Aquadilla, Puerto Rico on Wednesday, April 4.

Mildenstein, a member of the Civil Engineering Squadron, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Iowa Air National Guard based in Sioux City, Iowa, was conducting construction projects upgrading military facilities in Puerto Rico at the time of the accident.

Mildenstein was born June 26, 1962 in Cherokee, Iowa and graduated from Sioux City East High School in 1981. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in October 1985. Following graduation from Basic Training, he attended the Electronic Warfare Systems Specialist Course and was then assigned to George Air Force Base, Calif.,

He joined the Iowa Air National Guard in October 2005 and was named honor graduate of his Structural Maintenance course. Mildenstein previously deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan as part of the Iowa Air National Guard Civil Engineering team in 2011.

The family of Staff Sgt. Cory A. Mildenstein issued the following statement:

“Cory always had a smile on his face and space in his heart for everyone. He was very proud of his children Amber, April and Zac. He loved spending time with family and friends and he was always willing to help with a home repair, or car project.”

The Mildenstein family asks that their privacy be respected at this time. Funeral arrangements are pending. Media representatives may contact the Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Office for additional information.

Mildenstein is survived by his father and mother, Marlen and Beverly Mildenstein, of Sioux City; daughters, Amber (Justin) Nice-Pier of Abilene Texas; April Olson of Sioux City; son, Zachary Mildenstein of Wayne, Neb.; brother, Ricky (Cecelia) of LeMars, Iowa; sisters Sheryl Mildenstein of LeMars; Marcia (William) McDeavitt of Florida; grandchildren Kaylee, J.D, and Ethan; his fiancée, Maureen Carrigg, of Wayne Neb.; and several close cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles. He was preceded in death by his brother, Barry, his maternal and paternal grandparents, and his dog, Alex.

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