A Hudson Valley congressional candidate and Afghanistan veteran was found dead at a Poughkeepsie cemetery.
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Kyle Van De Water, 41, was found dead at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, police report.
The cause of his death was not released, but Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro's statement on Van De Water's death reminded veterans of resources Dutchess County offers to veterans. Molinaro's full statement is below:
My heart is broken for Kyle’s children and family. My prayers are with them as they attempt to come to grips with this absolute tragedy.
Kyle was a war hero who put his life and well-being on the line for his country. We owe him, his family, and all of our brave service men and women everything for the sacrifices they have made.
To all our service men and women who struggle upon returning home, and anyone who may be struggling with this news, please know that help is always available to you. In Dutchess County, if you are in crisis, call or text our HELPLINE at 845 485 9700, or walk-in to our 24/7 Stabilization Center at 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie.
Van De Water was born in Rhinebeck and raised in Poughkeepsie. He attended Spackenkill High School, graduating in 1998. He became an active duty member of the United States Army in 2006. He was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star in 2011.
He received the Meritorious Service Medal and his honorable discharge from the Army in 2014, according to his bio.
"This reminds us of the invisible dangers of PTSD. Kyle was somebody who on the outside, seems like he had it all together and so many of our veterans, younger veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, put on that brave face, but obviously, there were other things going on. So we need, this as a reminder that we need to check on our younger veterans and connect them with great services like Vet2Vet," VetZero spokesperson Tommy Zurhellen told Hudson Valley Post.
Last year Van De Water unsuccessfully ran against Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado to represent New York's 19th district.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of Kyle's untimely passing. He was an American hero and soldier whose selfless service in the United States Army will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time," the New York Republican State Committee stated.
His death comes just two weeks after the Republican congressional candidate pulled out of another congerssional race.
"Circumstances in my life have changed and I am no longer able to give 110% towards this endeavor. For the good of the party, and the district, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy. I look forward to vigorously and enthusiastically supporting the GOP candidate in 2022," Van De Water wrote on Facebook.
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