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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Cpl. Matthew K.S. Swanson

Died August 8, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

20, of Lake Forest, Calif.; assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Aug. 8 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover July 19 in Logar Province, Afghanistan.

Sister remembers surprise gift from the war zone

The Associated Press

Matthew Swanson was a beloved brother who once brought home a flower he picked on an Afghanistan mountain for his older sister.

“Over the past 20 years I don’t think he has ever given me such a beautiful gift,” said his sister, Traci. “It gave me validation that he was thinking of me while he was out there.”

Swanson, 20, of Lake Forest, Calif., died Aug. 8 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He had suffered injuries in a vehicle rollover July 19 in Logar province, Afghanistan. He was based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Swanson joined the Army in October 2007.

“Matthew was a solider, a hero, a friend, a brother,” his sister said. “His charisma, bravery, passion will always be remembered.”

His closest friends said at his service that they also fondly would remember his pranks and the music he played on his guitar.

He is survived by his parents and sister.

“He always wanted a job where he was making a difference,” Swanson’s father, Jeff, said. “He’s a hero in more ways than one.”

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