Iowa National Guard soldier dies in Cuba

Authorities say he was swimming and got caught in the current.

Posted: Oct. 18, 2018 8:31 PM

JOHNSTON, Iowa – A member of the Iowa National Guard has died while swimming at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Pfc. Matthew A. Cox, 19 of Leon, was swimming with four other service members at Cable Beach on Tuesday when authorities say he was overpowered by the strong current. Cox’ body was not recovered until Wednesday afternoon. The other four service members were not harmed.

"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," said Maj. Gen. Tim Orr, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard. "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."

An investigation is underway into this death.

The Iowa National Guard says Cox is survived by his parents, Jason and Beth Cox, and brother, Mark Cox, all of Hartford. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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