Monday, August 28, 2006

Army Specialist Matthew E. Schneider

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Matthew E. Schneider, 23, of Gorham, N.H.

Spc. Schneider was assigned to the 141st Signal Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Wiesbaden, Germany; died Aug. 28 from a non-combat related cause in Ramadi, Iraq.

Soldier from Gorham dies in Iraq of apparent cardiac arrest

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire soldier who died of an apparent heart attack in Iraq this week was born with a heart condition that his parents said seemed to disappear during his childhood.

Spc. Matthew Schneider of Gorham was found dead in his bunk on Monday in Ar Ramadi.

His mother, Cynthia Tardiff of Lunenberg, Vt., said the condition causes heart muscle to grow abnormally, but that it apparently had cleared up by the time Schneider was two years old.

The soldier's father, Andrew Schneider, of Kittery, Maine, said his son was cleared for military service and had not shown symptoms of heart trouble since he was an infant.

Schneider was taken to a medical treatment center in Ar Ramadi, but could not be revived, authorities said.

Schneider, 23, was assigned to the 141st Signal Battalion of the 1st Armored Division based in Wiesbaden, Germany.

"He was a soldier who cared about his country and liked the fact that the people of Iraq liked the coalition being there," his father said.

Schneider was a 2001 graduate of Gorham High School and was well liked by his teachers and classmates, according to Principal Keith Parent. Teachers said he excelled at computer skills and created a Web page for the students.

"Matt was more than a student, though. He was a friend, a helping hand, an individual who you could count on for a smile, a laugh or a kind word. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Schneider family," Parent said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both R-Maine, also expressed their sympathy to Schneider's family.

"Although his death was apparently of natural causes, it does not diminish their loss or the fact that he died while serving our nation in Iraq," Allen said. "Like hundreds of thousands of American service personnel, Specialist Schneider left the safety and comfort of home to travel to a hostile land half way around the world on our behalf. We honor his devotion to duty and his sacrifice."

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Army Specialist Matthew E. Schneider died on 8/28/06.

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