FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) - He was a paratrooper and also worked on robots, while at home he liked to cook and hunt.
Most importantly, Staff Sergeant Matthew Leach was a great husband to Sarah and father to Jack.
"He was amazing," said Sara Leach. "I know everyone says that when someone goes but he was so funny, and so nice."
Matt and Sarah grew up together in Ferndale. They were classmates from elementary school through high school. It was a friendship that blossomed after graduation.
"I ran into him after high school and he was all grown up, so handsome," Sarah said. "So one thing led to another and we started dating, fell in love, got married."
Matt, 29, was a staff sergeant in the Army. He had just left on another tour of duty. He had already served twice in Iraq, and deployed to Afghanistan in May.
He enlisted in 2003.
"He joined after 9/11," Sarah said. "He felt he was a healthy man and he should do something."
Matt was found unresponsive at his base on Monday.
His wife says foul play has been ruled out, but she has no idea what happened.
The couple Skyped on Sunday and talked on the phone, and he was happy and healthy.
Just last week he sent a lengthy email to his friends and family, writing in part: "Knowing that I am saving lives, I find this mission incredibly gratifying...this is a much safer deployment."
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