Army sergeant killed in Afghanistan honored at Concordia University in Irvine

Monday, August 29, 2016
Irvine university honors US Army sergeant killed in Afghanistan
Veterans, family and the Concordia University community honored a fallen U.S. Army soldier in Irvine on Monday. He was killed by an IED while in Afghanistan.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Veterans, family and a community honored a fallen soldier at Concordia University in Irvine Monday morning.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson, 28, was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Afghanistan on Aug. 23.

"It's no surprise to me that when he found his way into the Special Forces that his service was as a medic - an opportunity to serve people," Dr. Steven Mueller said.

Mueller taught Thompson, who graduated from Concordia in 2010 with a bachelor's in theological studies. Thompson, who is a native of Wisconsin, developed deep ties with Irvine.

He leaves behind his wife Rachel, an English major he met at the university. Friend Steven Beyer, was also close to Thompson. He remembers his former roommate as a guy with a zest for life.

"He just always wanted to be with you and experience life with you. Whether it would be offering you the food off his plate, whether it was good or bad, he didn't care. He just wanted you to experience it," Beyer said.

Thompson, a Green Beret, received numerous awards, including the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medals. He was posthumously awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and the Purple Heart.

As the American flag lowered, another flag that flew in Afghanistan in 2013, sat below. To remember Thompson's service to the country, the flag will fly at half-staff all week.