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I Got The News Today (IGTNT), which is one of the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos, provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The IGTNT  title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.

Pfc Matthew H. Walker

Since 2001 we have lost 2325 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3444 American and coalition forces.


Day is done
Gone the sun
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
All is well
Safely rest
God is nigh


 The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Matthew H. Walker, 20, of Hillsboro, Missouri, died June 5, in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by enemy fire.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  ~ DoD News Release

Pfc Matthew H. Walker, 20 of Hillsboro, MO.  Killed in Action 6/5/2014 in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Matthew H. Walker, 20, of Hillsboro, Missouri
Matthew "Matt" Walker was a 2012 graduate of Grandview High School.  Matt was an offensive lineman and linebacker for the school's football team and in his senior year, his leadership potential was on display as the captain of the team.

According to head football coach Mike Genge, Walker visited the school recently while home on leave:

He was proud to be a serviceman.  He was enjoying it. He was finding success, and it seemed he found his path. He was hoping it would get him to college.
Adding that Walker worked hard on the team, Genge also said:
He wasn’t one of those fiery guys. He just worked hard and did what we asked him to. He was a great kid who worked his tail off.
According to one of his best friends, Daniel Nixon, Matt came from a long distinguished line of soldiers:
He never had a doubt he wanted to be a soldier, just like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him. He had planned ever since he was a little kid. It was something he was proud to take on for his name. He was proud to be the next one in the family, to serve for our country.
Pointing out that Matt was a selfless person, a mentor, and a leader, Nixon also added:
He was an inspiration to everybody. He always kept everybody in a good attitude, whether he was having a bad day or not, he just let it go, and was more worried about other people, his friends, his family.
Tyler Frederick, another best friend said Matt's death was surreal for his friends who last saw him in January just before he deployed to Afghanistan.  
He was telling us all about basic training and everything, I thought he was going to be ok. Brokenhearted, I was really brokenhearted when Danny told me yesterday. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never lost a friend before.
His friends say Walker was supposed to come back home in just two months, and that’s when he planned to propose to his girlfriend.

A message announcing Pfc Walker's passing appeared on the message board St. Louis CopTalk. Matthew's mother is Second District Detective Heather Wooderson and it was reported she and her husband were in Dover Air Force Base to witness the Dignified Transfer and would return sometime late on Sunday June 8th.  Plans were being made to meet the family on their return and honor Pfc Walker's service by lining the streets.

Pfc Matthew H. Walker’s awards and decorations are the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze service star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

Pfc Walker's family asked that a memorial be held on the Grandview High School campus and plans are underway to honor that request. The Big River VFW in Cedar Hill plans to memorialize Walker as well.

Pfc Matthew H. Walker is survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother.  

~ Source  ~ Source  ~ Source


About the IGTNT series:

"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno in 2004 and now is maintained by Sandy on Signal, i dunno, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, Ekaterin, TheFatLadySings, Joy of Fishes, and me, JaxDem.

These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.

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Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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