Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Army Capt. Matthew G. Nielson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Capt. Matthew G. Nielson, 27, of Jefferson, Iowa

Capt. Nielson was assigned to 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; died June 29, 2011 in Badrah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire.

JOHNSTON (AP) — A U.S. Army captain from Iowa loved the military and wanted to spend his life in service to others, family members said four days after he was killed by Iraqi insurgents.

The Iowa National Guard released a statement Sunday evening from the family of Matthew Nielson, 27, of Jefferson. Nielson was killed June 29 in Badrah, Iraq, during a fire attack by insurgents.

"Since Matt was a small boy he loved anything military, so he died doing what he loved best," the statement said. "Serving others was of the utmost importance to him and how he wanted to spend his life. He always gave his all, whatever he was doing. Matthew was a beloved son, brother, friend and soldier. He's already home, and we know we'll be together against someday. Apart, but forever in our hearts."

Also killed were Capt. David E. Van Camp, 29, of Wheeling, W. Va., and Spc. Robert G. Tenney Jr., 29, of Warner Robins, Ga. All three soldiers were assigned to the 2nd squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. The attack remains under investigation.

Funeral arrangements are pending. The National Guard says details will be released as they become available.

Nielson was born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Lincoln, Neb., Ogden, Iowa, and Jefferson, Iowa, where he was homeschooled. He graduated cum laude from the University of Northern Iowa in 2008, with a bachelor of arts degree in history.

In a statement, the Iowa National Guard said Nielson was a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Academic Honor Society, the UNI Ultimate Frisbee Team and the UNI Alumni Association.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze service star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Air Assault Badge, and Combat Action Badge.

Nielson is survived by his mother and father, Christine and Roger Nielson of Jefferson, three brothers and four sisters.

My Father's Voice

Army Capt. Matthew G. Nielson was killed in action on 6/29/11.

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