AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS - 1/10/2012) -- Members of the 21st
Space Wing here suffered a tragic loss recently when it learned that
Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler was killed Jan. 5 in Afghanistan
by an improvised explosive device.
Seidler was an explosive
ordnance technician assigned to the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron
"Our deepest sympathies go out to his family in this
time of grief," said Col. Chris Crawford, the 21st Space Wing
commander. "He made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, and we
will never forget him, nor the others who have met the same fate
fighting for freedom both here and abroad."
Two other EOD
Airmen were also killed in the attack. They are Senior Airman Bryan
R. Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa., who was assigned to the 2nd Civil
Engineer Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; and Tech. Sgt.
Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich., who was assigned
to the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base,
Seidler, 24, was from Westminster, Md. He entered the
Air Force in November 2009 and arrived here in January 2011. He was
the first Airman from the 21st Space Wing killed in action since the
wing's inception in 1992.
"He was almost the perfect Airman,"
said Tech. Sgt. Jason Warden, an EOD craftsman assigned to the 21st
CES. "He was really polite, and he was really big on customs and
Seidler could often be found in the shop after
work studying the equipment or for classes.
"You could tell
that he was completely devoted to what we do, and he immersed
himself completely in it. He turned into an incredible EOD Airman
and enjoyed what we do," said Staff Sgt. Mathew Kimberling, an EOD
craftsman assigned to the 21st CES.
The EOD shop is a close
family, Kimberling said, and Seidler would often organize group
hikes and activities. "He really enjoyed being here in Colorado,
especially the outdoor life," Kimberling said.
driven, committed and would take on any challenge because he wanted
to be the best at everything he did. "He loved doing the incline,"
Warden said. "Last Friday, we all went as a shop to (hike) the
incline in his name."
The EOD community is very small, with
less than 1,000 members Air Force-wide, Kimberling said. "When the
news spreads, it hurts everyone whether you knew them directly or
whether it's just the fact that he was an EOD brother. Everyone
Lt. Col. Mark Donnithorne, the 21st CES commander,
said, "EOD Airmen have been vital to Operation Enduring Freedom, and
unfortunately, the pride we'll feel when we see Matt's name on the
EOD Memorial Wall at Eglin (Air Force Base) will not extinguish the
sorrow we feel from his loss. We will never forget Matt's sacrifice
and dedication to his critical, yet dangerous, mission."
Seidler's funeral will be held Jan. 17 in Virginia where he will be
interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
A memorial service
will be held here at a later date.
By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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