The Department of Defense announced that SSG Matthew Thompson died in Afghanistan on August 23, 2016. He was a member of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) who was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Helmand province, Afghanistan. SSG Thompson was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
SSG Thompson, age 28, of Irvine, California died of injuries caused by an IED that detonated near his patrol while conducting dismounted operations. SSG Thompson was assigned to ODA 1312, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Another member of his unit suffered serious injuries as well as several Afghan Soldiers.
SSG Thompson had previously deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. His detachment was serving with the Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan (SOTF-A). He enlisted in the Army in March 2011, attending Army Basic Combat and Advanced Individual Training, Basic Airborne Course, and then on to Special Forces training where he became a Special Forces Medical Sergeant.
Among his other awards and medal, Thompson was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal with V device, and Purple Heart Medal.
SSG Thompson grew up in the Milwaukee area. He graduated from Brookfield Central High School in 2006. He studied at Marquette University in Milwaukee and later completed his degree at Concordia University in Irvine, California.
He is survived by his wife and parents.
Read the press release at “DoD Identifies Army Casualty”, U.S. DoD News, August 24, 2016.
CENTCOM Commander General Votel released a statement expressing sincere condolences to the family and friends of SSG Thompson.
The Army released a press release on the death of SSG Thompson providing more details of his death.
The Washington Post news report on August 24, 2016.
“Friends Mourn Green Beret Killed in Afghanistan at California Ceremony”, Military.com, August 30, 2016.