NMU Alum Killed in Afghanistan

One of the American soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan has ties to the U.P.

36-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Matthew West was a Gaylord native and a Northern Michigan University alumnus.

West graduated from NMU in 1997 with a degree in business computer information systems.

He joined the Army in 2004.

West had been in Afganistan since July, serving with the 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group based in Fort Carson, Colorado.

Four other members of West’s unit were also killed when insurgents attacked the group with a homemade bomb.

Staff Sgt. West is believed to be the first NMU alum lost in the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars.

He is survived by his wife and three young children.