Soldier From Ferndale Dies In Kandahar, Afghanistan

FERNDALE (WWJ/AP) – The Pentagon says a 29-year-old Army Reserve soldier from Ferndale who was on his third combat deployment has died in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department says Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Leach died Tuesday in Kandahar.

Military spokesman Major Alex Johnson at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., says Leach was found unresponsive on the ground. Johnson says the cause of death wasn’t immediately determined.

Johnson says Leach enlisted in the Army in 2003 and served until 2008, with two tours of duty in Iraq. Johnson says Leach then entered the Army Reserve and was on his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Leach was part of the 1/334th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division based in Fraser.

Johnson says he didn’t immediately know the nature of Leach’s training assignment.

Leach becomes the sixth military personnel with ties to Michigan to die in Afghanistan in 2012.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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