Soldier from Fosston killed in AfghanistanU.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Harmon, a native of Lengby, Minn., survived two tours in Iraq, including a mortar attack that seriously injured a nearby soldier, but, a month into his first tour in Afghanistan, he has been killed by a roadside bomb.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Harmon, a native of Lengby, Minn., survived two tours in Iraq, including a mortar attack that seriously injured a nearby soldier, but, a month into his first tour in Afghanistan, he has been killed by a roadside bomb.
He was 29.
His father, Tom Harmon, said that, according to the military, Matthew died somewhere near the border with Pakistan. Matthew had gone out with a crew to recover another vehicle damaged by a roadside bomb, when another bomb went off, Tom said. No other information about Matthew’s death has been released by the U.S. Department of Defense.
When Matthew’s body is returned to them, his family will bury him in Lengby, where he grew up, Tom said.
Matthew Harmon leaves behind a wife, Nicole, a Grand Forks native; three children, Danika, 8, Vincent, 5, and Elsie, 3; his mother Irene; and siblings Melissa, Dean and Mark. Matthew was the oldest of the four children.
Growing up in eastern Polk County, Matthew was an athlete at Fosston (Minn.) High School — he was in football, cross country and track and field — and an artist, Tom said. In 1999, when Matthew was a senior, he enlisted in the National Guard.
After graduation, he moved to Grand Forks, where he met his wife, to attend UND. He was studying stage setup for the performing arts, when, in 2004, he decided to enlist full time in the Army.
Tom said Matthew enjoyed being in the Army and he wanted to make a contribution. His first tour in Iraq was “tough,” Tom said, and, toward the end, Matthew had a close call when the barracks he was sleeping in was hit by a mortar. Another soldier in the same barracks was seriously injured, Tom said, but Matthew only got a scratch.
Matthew rarely talked about the war much, Tom said, but he understands the second tour in Iraq was better than the first.
Tom said he worries most for Matthew’s children and wife, who live in Germany where Matthew was stationed. The family is trying to get them settled somewhere where the trauma won’t be too much for them, he said.
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.