AR RAMADI, Iraq (AP) – Another soldier from New Hampshire has died in Iraq.

Spc. Matthew Evan Schneider of Gorham died Monday, apparently of cardiac arrest, according to Maine Gov. John Baldacci, who spoke with relatives in Maine. The Pentagon said Schneider was not engaged in combat at the time.

He was taken to a medical treatment center in Ramadi, but could not be revived, authorities said.

Schneider, 23, was assigned to the 141st Signal Battalion of the 1st Armored Division based in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Baldacci said he spoke to Schneider’s father and offered his condolences. The father, Andrew Schneider, lives in Kittery.

“Mr. Schneider told me Matthew was proud of his service and planned on re-enlisting,” Baldacci said.

Andrew Schneider said he had spoken to his son just hours before he died. He said Matthew had no known medical issues.

“He was a soldier who cared about his country and liked the fact that the people of Iraq liked the coalition being there,” the father said.

Schneider was a 2001 graduate of Gorham High School and was well liked by his teachers and classmates, according to Principal Keith Parent. Teachers said he excelled at computer skills and created a Web page for the students.

“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. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Schneider family,” Parent said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine, and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both 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.”


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