Fallen Soldier Remembered One Year Later
Updated: Thursday, January 10 2013, 03:52 PM EST
WESTMINSTER - A year has passed since Airman 1st Class Matthew Seidler was killed in Afghanistan.
"No parent wants their child to be a hero," Matthew's father Marc Seidler said this weekend. "Matt never wanted to be a hero."
Matthew was on an Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team. He was killed Jan. 5, 2012, after an attack on his vehicle in Helman province in southern Afghanistan.
"When he decided to go into EOD, we didn't know what that meant," Marc said of his son. "Every other job, your job is to fight somebody. The EOD guys, their job is to save lives. Not only our military, but also the local population."
Matthew had just turned 24 years old Jan. 3, 2012. He was killed alongside fellow EOD technicians Senior Airman Bryan Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa., and Tech. Sgt. Matthew Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich.
His family visited his remains at Arlington National Cemetery on the anniversary of his death.
"Matt would have wanted to sacrifice himself over someone else," Marc said. "(I believe that) without a doubt. And, every EOD I have met, they all say it."
On the morning of Matthew's funeral in 2012, the Seidlers' friends lined their route from their Westminster home to the funeral with American flags.
"When we came outside and saw the flags down the street, the morning of his funeral, it was really special to us," Marc emotionally told friends this weekend.
Friends in the Windemere Farms neighborhood placed flags in front yards overnight Friday to honor Matthew.
"It's a tough spot to be in. I think we all felt a little helpless when we found out-when we first learned of Matt's death last year," friend Jeff Doolan said.
Neighbors also donated $1,000 to The Fisher House Foundation, a charity that helps families in similar situations.
To make a contribution in Seidler's honor, visit www.fisherhouse.org.