Slain Airman Matt Seidler was remembered as a hero who “chased after his dream” during a memorial at his air force base in Colorado.
A crowd of 600 gathered on Friday for the tribute to Seidler along with his commanding officers at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, and his parents, Marc and Lauren Seidler.
Seidler, who was from the Baltimore area, was killed along with two comrades by an explosive device in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan on January 5.
“When Matt arrived here at Peterson, he sought out every opportunity to train himself, to develop his EOD abilities and excel at every task,” said Master Sgt. Paul Horton, according to an Air Force press release. “He challenged himself and his fellow airmen and he put his all into everything he did.”
Seidler’s combat boots, rifle, helmet and dog tags were placed on display in the auditorium as friends and coworkers celebrated Seidler’s life and honored his sacrifice.
Seidler is the 40th Jewish American servicemember to die in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“He did this because he never woke up and went into work. When he got out of bed, he chased after his dream,” Horton added. “To stand alongside brothers, and to use his skills, strength and boundless energy to make a difference in this world.”
“We want to take this time to remember Matt for all he was,” said Col. Chris Crawford, commander of the 21st Space Wing commander. “He leaves a legacy of pride, integrity and courage, and we will never forget his sacrifice.”
Seidler was laid to rest last week in Arlington National Cemetery.