Cadet 4th Class James Walsh was found dead Saturday in the Air Force Academy cadet area. | Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Investigators are trying to determine the cause of death of an Air Force Academy cadet who was found dead on campus.
Academy officials said Cadet 4th Class James L. Walsh, of Tinley Park, died Saturday night in the cadet area.
Academy personnel found Walsh, contacted emergency services and attempted to revive him, according to a story posted on the Air Force Academy website.
“The academy is deeply saddened by the tragic loss we suffered Saturday,” said Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the academy superintendent. “As we grieve the passing of James, we ask that everyone keep his family and friends in their thoughts and prayers.”
Brig. Gen. Greg Lengyel, the commandant of cadets, informed the Cadet Wing of the death Monday, the story said.
Walsh, a prior-enlisted Airman, was one of three selected from Joint Base Andrews to attend the Academy Preparatory School in 2011. He previously was assigned to the 744th Communications Squadron as a cyber transport systems apprentice.
Walsh told the SouthtownStar in 2011 that being accepted into the Air Force Academy was a dream he had held onto for four years after visiting his cousin’s graduation ceremony there in 2006.
“I really didn’t know how big of a deal it was, I just thought he was away at school,” Walsh said at the time. “When I actually went there and saw them, it just kind of made me feel like, ‘I want to do that someday.’”
While a student at Andrew High School, Walsh competed in programming and Web design competitions through the school’s Business Professionals of America and Skills USA clubs. Walsh spent a year after high school at DeVry University where he studied computer science. He enlisted in the Air Force in 2009.
Walsh, whose father served in the Marines, volunteered to be an airman leader in training school and spent time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild houses in Biloxi, Miss. after Hurrican Katrina hit the region.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
AP and staff reports