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  Matthew J. Leach
Name: Army Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Leach

Age: 29

From: Ferndale, MI

Assigned to 1st Battalion, 334th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (Leader Training), U.S. Army Reserve, Fraser, Mich.

Incident: Army Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Leach died June 26, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of unspecified causes.

'He was happy to be doing what he was doing'

By David Ashenfelter
Detroit Free Press

Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Leach loved being a soldier.

So much so that when two tours of duty in Iraq ended, he signed up for a third in Afghanistan and planned to make the military his career.

Leach, 29, of Ferndale, Mich., was found unresponsive in his bed June 26 at his base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the cause of death not readily apparent. His wife said he was in good health.

&ldquoHe was happy to be doing what he was doing and felt like he was doing something for his country,&rdquo Sarah Leach, 30, said about her husband. &ldquoHe was a great father and a husband.&rdquo

The Leaches&rsquo son, Jack, turned 7 months old just two days after his father&rsquos death.

Matthew Leach was born in Texas and moved with his family to Pennsylvania and later to Ferndale.

Sarah Leach said she and her husband attended elementary, junior high and high school together but didn&rsquot start dating until after they graduated in 2000. They married in 2005.

After high school, Matthew Leach worked as a state certified auto body repair specialist at a collision shop in Ferndale. Family members described him as energetic, creative and someone who wanted to excel. They said he was an avid hunter.

They said he joined the Army in 2003 because he wanted to serve his country after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

He served two tours, totaling 20 months in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division.

After the second tour ended in 2008, he joined the Army Reserve and signed up for a one-year tour in Afghanistan, where he worked with robots. He was a member of the 1/334th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division, out of Fraser, Mich.

His wife said he had been in Afghanistan for about a month and that she got an email from him last week indicating he was happy to be there.

An Army buddy, James Madden, 28, of suburban Minneapolis, said Leach was a loyal friend.

&ldquoHe was the best friend you could have,&rdquo Madden said. &ldquoHe would do anything for you.&rdquo

Died: June 26, 2012


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Matthew J. Leach
BY John on Jul 07, 2012
  May the grace of God, the love of Jesus, and the peace of the Holy Spirit be with you and your family forever.

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