|From The Athens Banner-Herald onlineathens.com
Soldier with Athens ties killed in Afghanistan
Posted: Thursday, March 04, 2010
By Joe Johnson
A soldier who once called Athens his home was killed Monday when his unit was attacked by insurgents in the Badghis province of Northwestern Afghanistan.
Spc. Matthew D. Huston, 24, was killed along with 27-year-old Spc. Josiah D. Crumpler, a native of Hillsborough, N.C. — both members of the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
This was Huston’s second deployment to Afghanistan; he first was there for five months, beginning in December 2007.
Huston lived in Athens with his wife, Whitney, before he enlisted with the Army in February 2007, according to his father, Philip Huston of Henderson, Nev.
The soldier’s widow did not want publicity about her husband’s death, and the elder Huston respected her wish, declining to talk more about his son Wednesday.
Huston is the third person with Athens ties to have been killed in Afghanistan since 2005.
His 3,300-member brigade left for a 12-month overseas deployment last August from their base in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Huston and Crumpler were killed when their unit was attacked by insurgents using guns and rocket-propelled grenades in the village of Bala Murghab, a Taliban stronghold.
Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team remembered Huston and Crumpler as hardworking and dedicated.
“Spc. Crumpler was constantly seeking to improve his knowledge as a soldier. His level of commitment was not something you see every day,” Staff Sgt. Ryan Mahoney said.
“Spc. Huston was every bit as committed by going above and beyond to step up and take on the role of a team leader. They were both great soldiers and people, and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”
A memorial service was held in Afghanistan.
The first soldier with Athens ties to be killed in Afghanistan was 21-year-old Army Spc. Michael Spivey, who died April 6, 2005, in a helicopter crash near Ghazni.
A U.S. Marine who grew up in Athens, First Sgt. Luke Mercardante, was killed April 15, 2008, by the explosion of a roadside bomb near the Pakistani border.