WASHINGTON – A Finksburg Marine who had been in Iraq for only one month was killed March 3 in a non-combat vehicle accident in Al Anbar Province, the Department of Defense announced Monday.
Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, 20, was deployed in February to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom, assigned to Combat Service Support Group-1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force. Snyder was a generator mechanic in Combat Logistics Battalion-7, Twentynine Palms, Calif. He graduated from Westminster Senior High School in 2003.
Snyder was the second of three children, right between 22-year-old Sarah Snyder, of Hanover, Pa., and 18-year-old Tracie Snyder, of York, Pa. He is also survived by his mother, Julia Snyder, of Westminster, and father, Albert Snyder of York, Pa.
His mother was too grief-stricken to speak to the press, and his father declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.
Matthew Snyder joined the U.S. Marine Corps on Oct. 14, 2003. He was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, according to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. No further details about his death have been released.
David F. Brown was Snyder’s basketball coach as a first- and second-grader and has been an assistant principal at Westminster High for seven years. Brown remembers him for being quiet and a “very pleasant person to be around.”
When Brown recalls coaching him as a child, he said Snyder was always respectful and listened well.
“I see this young boy with a big smile: ‘OK, Mr. Brown, I’ll do it!’ He’d put his head down and go as long as he could and as hard as he could,” Brown said.
The last time they saw each other was at Snyder’s graduation ceremony in 2003, but other teachers told him Snyder had been back to the school after boot camp in 2004 for recruiting.
“Looking back, those memories don’t seem that long ago,” Brown said solemnly. “And yesterday I was told that window is closed.”
– 30 – CNS-3-7-06