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Ferndale Soldier Dies in Afghanistan

Cause of death unknown for Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Leach, 29, who died Tuesday in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

A 29-year-old soldier from Ferndale died Tuesday while on duty in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense confirmed on Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Leach, of Ferndale, died June 26 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Leach was assigned to the 1/334th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (Leader Training), based in Fraser.

Major Alex Johnson, public affairs officer for the 104th Training Division, said Leach was found unconscious and unresponsive on the floor of the facility where he was stationed and did not recover.

"The cause of death is not yet determined," Johnson said.

Leach joined the military in 2003 and served on active duty until 2008, including two tours in Iraq - one from 2005 to 2006 and another from 2007 to 2008, Johnson said. He then went into the Army Reserves and this was his first deployment from the Reserves.

Leach is survived by a wife and son, Johnson said.

Dave Coulter June 28, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I'dl ike to encourage residents of Ferndale to fly a flag until Matt comes home, in honor of him and in support of those he leaves behind. Let's color the town red, white and blue.

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