Thursday, October 26, 2006

Matthew W. Creed killed in combat

COVINA, Calif. - Army Spc. Matthew Creed was killed in Iraq just weeks after a San Gabriel Valley homecoming and hopes of fulfilling his dream of becoming a policeman.

A day after Creed, 23, telephoned his mother to say he would be leaving Iraq within 45 days, the soldier was shot to death by sniper while on foot patrol. His mother Kimberly said he was excited when he called Saturday.

"I am coming home," his mother recalled him saying. "He was real excited about that. One of the last things he said to me was `I love you mom.' I told him to be careful."

Creed, who graduated from Charter Oak High School in 2001, was making plans for the future, she said, including buying his first new car.

Creed was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Creed was making sandwiches at Blimpie's in San Dimas when joined the Army in 2003, his father Richard said Wednesday from the Rancho Cucamonga home. The young soldier wanted to become a police officer.

When he interviewed with the Covina Police Department, Creed learned he was not qualified and it was suggested he go into the military to gain experience, Richard Creed said.

After assignments at Fort Benning, Ga. and South Korea, he was offered an assignment Washington, D.C., but Creed asked to be sent to a combat unit, his father said.

Besides his parents, Matthew Creed is survived his wife Ashley and 19-year-old brother James.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

From the San Jose Mercury News