23 years old from West Henrietta, New York
Company C, 70th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
March 9, 2005
Spc. Matthew A. Koch was on his second tour of duty when he was killed by an IED that was detonated near his vehicle in Taji. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He previously was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon and medals for service in the fight against terrorism.
Koch enlisted in the Army in January 2002 after the attacks on September 11, 2001 and re-enlisted because he wanted to help the Iraqi people. "He was a brave soldier who made the greatest sacrifice anyone could make for everyone else's freedom," Diane Worman, Koch's mother, said through tears. "He realized that by being over there, he was going to make a difference in the lives of those people." She said her son once unsuccessfully sought green cards for an Iraqi family that had been threatened for helping Americans.
"He always looked out for the other guy, never thought of himself. He volunteered to go to C Co before our first deployment so that one of the guys from our Platoon didn't have to deploy early and would have a chance to marry his fiance. That's Koch for you, always looking out for his buddies." - David A. "Buch" Buchanan.
"He really loved the service and went back," said James Worman, Koch's stepfather. "He had no problem. He was dedicated to the fact that people over there needed help. He was always concerned about other people. He loved children. He was a nice, soft-hearted kid."
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
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