Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 8, 2012

Gov't: Schwartz killed by explosive

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Tech. Sgt. Matthew Schwartz, 34, a Traverse City native, was among three servicemen killed Thursday when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province's Shir Ghazi, the Defense Department said Saturday in a news release.

Schwartz was an explosive ordnance disposal specialist assigned to the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. He grew up in Michigan, graduated from Traverse City Central High School in 1996 and served 12 years in the Air Force.

He left for his sixth overseas deployment in October and would have been due home in March. He had served previous tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Schwartz moved to Cheyenne in 2006, when he was transferred to F.E. Warren after a stint at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.

He and his wife, Jennifer, had three daughters, ages 11, 8 and 6.

The explosion also killed Senior Airman Bryan Bell, 23, of Pennsylvania, who was assigned to the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana; and Airman 1st Class Matthew Seidler, 24, of Maryland, who was assigned to the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

Seidler was the first airman in the 21st Space Wing to die in Iraq or Afghanistan, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported Saturday. He was on his first overseas deployment.

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