SPRING CITY—A community tribute was being organized Monday to honor Staff Sgt. Lincoln Olmstead, a Spring City native who was killed in a training incident near Fort Campbell, Kentucky on Sept. 21.
Mayor Cynthia DeGrey said Olmstead, 29, a 2010 graduate of North Sanpete High School, essentially died in the line of duty.
“We want the family to know he is one of our own. He gave the ultimate sacrifice. We want to show our appreciation, to express our gratitude.”
As of Monday, DeGrey said she had gathered about 100 American flags, some lent by Colonial Flag Co. in Sandy, some from Spring City offices, some from Spring City Elementary and others provided by residents.
The flags were being posted along Main Street on the route to the Spring City Ward Chapel, where a viewing was held Monday night and funeral services were scheduled Tuesday (after press time).
DeGrey said she was getting the word out that residents are invited to line Main Street after the funeral as the hearse and funeral party travels to the Spring City Cemetery, where Olmstead will be buried.
According to DeGrey, the Utah Chapter of the Patriot Guard, a motorcycle group with many veteran members, planned to be outside the chapel Monday night to form an honor guard as the casket was carried from the chapel on Tuesday and to be at the cemetery for the burial service.
Olmstead joined the Utah Army National Guard in 2016 and in 2019 became a member of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (airborne). Special Forces are also known as the Green Berets. During five years in the military, he had received eight badges or ribbons.
He was at Fort Campbell, located near the Kentucky-Tennessee border, participating in a Maritime Assessment Course in September.
He was doing a surface swim at Swag Park Reservoir when he went underwater and did not come up. Emergency services from the base and the county, along with Tennessee wildlife officers, launched an immediate search, but they didn’t find his body until the next day.
“This is an absolute tragedy,” Col. Paul Peters, the commander of Olmstead’s unit, said. “Sometimes we expect this sort of thing in combat, but not during training, which makes this difficult for the unit and especially the family.”
Maj. Gen. Michael Turley, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, said, “While training incidents like this are rare, it is a reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by our service members and their families every day.”
Olmstead’s parents, Brian and Sonia Olmstead, moved to Spring City a few months before he was born. He attended Spring City Elementary and North Sanpete Middle School. At the same time he graduated from North Sanpete High School, he received an associate’s degree from Utah Valley University.
“He’s very well known here,” DeGrey said. “His family is part of our community.”
Father Brian Olmstead retired from the South Sanpete School District. He himself was also a member of the National Guard. In the early 2000s, as a member of the 1457th Combat Engineer Battalion based in Mt. Pleasant, he was deployed to Iraq during Desert Storm.
Lincoln and his wife, Danaya Morin, formerly of Fairview, and their two children were living in West Valley City at the time of his death. But his parents; a brother, Clinton; and his grandmother, Wendy Olmstead, live in Spring City.
Lincoln served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ on Latter-day Saints from 2011-2013. He also attended Southern Utah University and was close to completing a degree in engineering.
His body was returned to Utah last Thursday, Sept. 28, aboard Southwest Airlines. An Army soldier was aboard the flight.
A hearse from Rasmussen Mortuary met the plane at the Salt Lake International Airport. The soldier escorting the casket rode in the hearse to Rasmussen Mortuary in Mt. Pleasant.
In Utah County, officers from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Pleasant Grove Police and Utah Highway Patrol (among other agencies) joined in accompanying the casket to Mt. Pleasant. The law enforcement contingent included more than a dozen motorcycles and about 10 vehicles.
At the mortuary, an eight-member honor guard from the Utah National Guard stood at attention as the casket was carried into the mortuary, followed by at least a dozen family members and friends.