EAST ALTON, IL, US
U. S. Army
PV2, F TROOP 1ST SQD 10TH ARMORED CAV REGT, FORT HOOD, TX 76544
08/08/2003, BALAD, IRAQ
Private Matthew D. Bush died in his sleep on August 8, 2003. Matthew was assigned to F Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas. On August 8 in Camp Caldwell, Iraq, a fellow soldier tried to wake him and noticed that he was not breathing. The blistering summer heat in Iraq is believed to have caused his death. Temperatures there routinely reach 115 degrees and are an ongoing concern for military service members.
Twenty year old Matthew Bush was from East Alton, Illinois. He and his unit were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was stationed in Kirkush, Iraq about 100 miles north of Baghdad. He had been overseas for about three weeks. Matthew’s father last heard from Matthew on August 5, and he had complained then about the heat. He felt ill on Thursday, August 7, and was told to quit his duties early. He complained of a headache before going to bed and was found dead in his bed the next morning.
Matthew Bush played football all during his young life and was not a stranger to intense physical exertion as his body operated clad in protective equipment. Matthew’s sister Army PFC Deann Bush, was also in Iraq, and both told their father they had been cautioned to drink plenty of liquids and report symptoms of illness. Upon her return to the United States the cooler temperatures were difficult for her to adjust to and required turning up the heat in their truck because she was cold.
Matthew’s family hope that his death will serve as an ongoing alert to other soldiers regarding the dangers of heat-related injuries as a life risk, as well as a warning to alert their leadership to possible physical stress signs due to weather factors.