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Soldier with Elkhorn ties killed in Afghanistan

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Darryl Enriquez
May 3, 2011
— Army Sgt. Matthew D. Hermanson and his wife, Rachel Younger of Elkhorn, were married less than a year before his death Thursday in Afghanistan.

Hermanson, 22, was killed in a hail of small-arms gunfire.


Born and raised in Appleton, Hermanson was an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army. Younger was a teacherís aide at an Elkhorn elementary school, where she taught English as a second language. She is the daughter of the Rev. Don Younger of Elkhorn.


The couple met on the Internet and elevated their long-distance, electronic romance into marriage on May 8 last year.


Hermanson, who was killed in the Wardak Province of southeast Afghanistan, would have turned 23 on May 27, his mother said.


Rachel Younger joined the Elkhorn Area School District in the fall 2007 semester and resigned in June, shortly after she wed Hermanson, according to district records.


Hermanson was an infantryman in the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. His division was stationed at Fort Polk, La., near Leesville, according to a press release from the Army.


Hermanson was deployed to Iraq from November 2007 to January 2009. His unit was later deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010.


Hermanson received several awards, including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Army Commendation Medal.



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