Who was Matthew Schneider?
Spc. Matthew Evan Schneider of Gorham, N.H., died August 28, 2006 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq of non-combatant medical complications. SPc. Schneider, 23 years of age, was assigned to the 141st Signal Battalion of the 1st Armored Division based in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Spc. Schneider was a CISCO computer technology guru, which suited him well for work in the 141st Signal Battalion, a support unit that manages communications, including electronic and telephone communication.

U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, and U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, also expressed their sympathy to Schneider's family.

"Although his death was apparently of natural causes, it does not diminish their loss or the fact that he died while serving our nation in Iraq," Allen said. "Like hundreds of thousands of American service personnel, Specialist Schneider left the safety and comfort of home to travel to a hostile land half way around the world on our behalf. We honor his devotion to duty and his sacrifice."

Spc. Schneider was a 2001 graduate of Gorham High School, and was well liked by his teachers and classmates, according to Principal Keith Parent. "Matt was more than a student, though. He was a friend, a helping hand, an individual who you could count on for a smile, a laugh or a kind word," Parent said.

Teachers said he excelled at computer skills and had even created a Web page for students. Schneider knew enough about computers to play pranks on his classmates, who might find their computers flicking on and off, and their disc drives opening and closing even when they hadn't touched any buttons. "He had a bit of a mischievous side," said Jackie Corrigan, who taught business and technology classes at Gorham Middle/High School. "He was devilish in that way, but never destructive."

During his four years of high school, Spc. Schneider took every computer class Mr. Corrigan offered. He helped teachers and students with their computers, and Mr. Corrigan sometimes even sent him to help local businesses that were having computer problems.

"He was just tremendous," said William Kaczenski, assistant principal at Gorham High.

During his senior year, Schneider was one of two students who earned college credit in a computer technology course Corrigan introduced. After he graduated in 2001, Schneider attended New Hampshire Community Technical College in Nashua.

Spc. Schneider was not involved in combat in Iraq. He helped provide frontline soldiers with communication support. In his spare time, he set up a wireless network that linked 80 of his fellow soldiers with high-speed internet access because he wanted soldiers to have low cost high-speed internet access.

Spc. Schneider planned to re-enlist for six years as an I.T Specialist.

Spc. Schneider will be buried with full Military Honors, Bronze Star at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. 7 September 2006.