Airman's death linked to H1N1 virus

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GLENDALE - Luke Air Force Base announced the death of one of their airman to the H1N1 virus.

According to a release Staff Sgt. Shawn J. Rankin, 25, died October 4 at at his off-base Glendale residence. Paramedics arrived, but he was unresponsive. He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.  

Preliminary autopsy results from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office show the cause of death resulted from complications from H1N1.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sergeant Rankin's family, co-workers, and friends," said Brig. Gen. Kurt Neubauer, 56th Fighter Wing Commander.  "He was a valuable member of Team Luke, and he will be greatly missed."

Sergeant Rankin was from Anchorage, Alaska and was assigned to the 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. He has been serving as an F-16 dedicated crew chief at Luke since February 2008.  Sergeant Rankin joined the Air Force in October 2003.