Former Cannon airman killed in Afghanistan

Staff and wire reports

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Schwartz, 34, of Cheyenne, Wyo., was among three servicemen killed Jan. 5 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.

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 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.

“He knew the dangers; he talked about it,” Schwartz’ brother-in-law Jeff O’Brien said. “He said it was just part of the job.”

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

“I can’t remember a time without him,” Jennifer Schwartz told a Michigan newspaper. “We had an understanding … we needed each other. He loved life and he loved his kids. He was just wonderful.”

The explosion also killed Senior Airman Bryan Bell, 23, of Pennsylvania and Airman 1st Class Matthew Seidler, 24, of Maryland.