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Iowa Soldier Dies at Guantanamo Bay

Matthew Cox (WHO-HD)

JOHNSTON, Iowa — An Iowa National Guard Soldier has died while on deployment at Guantanamo Bay.

The Iowa National Guard says Pfc. Matthew A. Cox of Leon died while swimming at a Naval Station Guantanamo Bay beach on Tuesday, October 16th. Officials say Cox and four others were overpowered by the strong current. First responders searched for Cox using divers, boats, and aircraft. His body was recovered the next day.

The four other service members with Cox were not injured.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Maj. Gen. Tim Orr, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, says “This is indeed a sad day for the Iowa National Guard.  The loss of a Soldier under any circumstances is difficult.  My heart aches for Matthew’s family as well as the Soldiers he served with in the 186th MP Company. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cox family and his fellow Soldiers.  We will do everything in our power to assist them during this difficult time.”

Cox enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard on October 11, 2017 as a Military Police Soldier with the 186th MP Co.. He deployed to Cuba in July of this year.

Funeral arrangements are pending.