Matthew R Kading

Wisconsin reservist dies from Iraq injuries

The Associated Press

An Army Reserve member who checked up on his fantasy baseball league via the Internet while serving in Iraq has died from injuries suffered in an explosion there. Sgt. 1st Class Matthew R. Kading, 32, of Madison, Wis., died Oct. 31 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, the Pentagon said Nov. 1. He had been injured near Tikrit on Oct. 19 when an explosive detonated near his vehicle.

He was assigned to the Army Reserve’s 983rd Engineer Battalion, based in Monclova, Ohio.

Army Lt. Col. Gary Kolb said Kading worked as a construction engineering supervisor.

Kading had kept in contact with friends across the country through the fantasy baseball league.

Craig Ball of Meriden, Conn., one of the league managers, said he and Kading talked baseball via e-mail and instant messaging before Kading was activated for service in Iraq, and the soldier kept in touch electronically after going overseas.

“He would check our message board from Iraq,” Ball said. “I guess for him it was like a piece of home.”

After the death, the Roberto Clemente APBA Fantasy Baseball League was renamed the Matt Kading Memorial APBA Baseball League, Ball said.

Rick Roeth, a close friend, said Kading graduated from Madison East High School in 1991 and joined the Reserves before he joined the Army full-time a year later.

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Age: 32
Incident Location: Tikrit, Iraq
Branch: Army
Rank: Sgt. 1st Class
Unit: 983rd Engineer Battalion
Units Base: Monclova, Ohio