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Two-star general's August death ruled a suicide

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Maj. Gen. John Rossi's August death has been ruled a suicide. (Army photo)

The death this summer of the incoming leader of Army Space and Missile Defense Command was officially ruled a suicide, an Army spokeswoman said on Friday.

Maj. Gen. John Rossi was found dead in his home in August just two days before he was set to take over the top job at Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. An investigation into the cause of death was launched at the time.

"While we have focused our attention on young people, who make up the bulk of our force, and for whom suicide is the second leading cause of death nationwide, the most recent data shows middle-aged Americans are the fastest-growing, at-risk population. Suicide knows no common race or age, gender or position," the Army spokeswoman said.

"We will continue to work with and teach our leaders to create an environment where it's okay to ask for help no matter your position or rank, and reinforce in all soldiers and leaders that it is their duty to lend a helping hand," she continued.

The Rossi family also released a statement, urging anyone facing challenges to seek help immediately.

"To the Army, he was Maj. Gen. Rossi – to us, he was John...husband...dad," the family's statement says.