The family of Jordan Thibeault, who died of as-of-yet unreported causes in Iraq on Friday, issued a statement late Tuesday saying that the 22-year-old soldier died "to keep mankind safe and free."
    "While we feel enormous grief and loss, we want to explain why our son's passing should be heralded by each and every one of us," read the statement from the South Jordan family. "Mankind today is faced with terrible calamities. Only a select few are willing to forgo comforts of home, indeed the very promise of a bright future, to place themselves between the forces of hate and oppression and the human spirit yearning for peace and safety."
    Thibeault, an Army specialist who drove and repaired M-88 and Bradley tracked vehicles, had served four years in the U.S. Army and was on his second combat tour in Iraq. His unit, headquartered in Germany, was four months into a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq when he died.
    Before joining the Army, Thibeault attended Benjamin Franklin Academy in Sandy. He had an interest in airplanes, mathematics, computers and military history, according to the family.
    "Young and eager to answer the cause of Liberty, Jordan followed his inner core of beliefs, taught by loving parents and family members, to ensure the peoples of Iraq were assured a chance of achieving peace and prosperity," the family said in the statement.
    Thibeault's "non-hostile" death at Forward Operating Base Hammer, in eastern Baghdad, remains under investigation by the U.S. Army, officials from which have said they will not be providing further details until the probe is completed.
    Non-hostile deaths - including vehicle accidents, accidental weapons discharges, suicides and other events not directly related to combat - have accounted for about one-fifth of the deaths of U.S. service members in Iraq since the U.S. led invasion in March, 2003. Recently, however, with violence quelled throughout much of that nation, the number of non-hostile deaths in Iraq has at some points been equal to or exceeded combat fatalities.
    "There are lots of dangers associated with military situations that don't have to do with combat," said Hank McIntire, a public affairs officer for the Utah National Guard. "Any kind of accident you could see in the civilian world, you can see in a military workplace as well."
    Thibeault will be buried Monday at the South Jordan City Cemetery. Meanwhile, his family has asked for privacy while they mourn.