Chris Crawford

Airman from Westminster is killed in Afghanistan

Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler, 24, of Westminster

A 24-year-old airman from Westminster was killed when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Saturday.

Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler died Thursday in the attack, which killed two other airmen. They were patrolling in Helmand, a southwestern province that remains a Taliban stronghold.

"When he joined the Air Force, he blossomed. He became himself," said a cousin, Kalyn Masek, who last communicated with Seidler on Tuesday, his birthday. "I was really, really proud of him and the man that he'd become."

Seidler, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, entered active duty in November 2009. He was...