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Army Spc. Matthew A. Koch

Died March 9, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of West Henrietta, N.Y.; assigned to the 70th Engineer Battalion, Fort Riley, Kan.; killed Mar. 9 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Taji, Iraq.

Soldier from Allentown killed in Iraq attack

Associated Press

FORT RILEY, Kan. — A soldier who was born and raised in Allentown, Pa., was killed Wednesday when an explosive detonated near his vehicle in Taji, Iraq, the military said Friday.

Killed was Spc. Matthew A. Koch, 23, of West Henrietta, N.Y., a member of Company C, 70th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. It was his second deployment to Iraq, returning in January. The brigade spent a year in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2004.

He is the 47th soldier from Fort Riley killed in Iraq. The incident is under investigation.

Koch was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart after his death. 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 and arrived at Fort Riley in June 2002.

Family members said they plan to establish a scholarship in Koch’s memory for vo-tech students at Parkland High School in Allentown, where Koch graduated in 1999.

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