ANCHORAGE - Army Sgt. Matthew Charles Bohling was a lifelong Alaskan who loved hauling in salmon or kicking up mud in an off-road vehicle.
Bohling made sure to enjoy Alaska's outdoors when he came home on leave from Iraq just a few weeks ago.
"Oh, yeah, he was fishing and having a great time," said The Rev. Brad Rud, a family spokesman. "He only had a week and a half, 10 days, from Iraq and then right back to Iraq."
Bohling, 22, died Monday in Ramadi, Iraq, when the Humvee he was driving set off a roadside bomb, according to the Defense Department on Wednesday.
Bohling, of Eagle River, was on his second combat tour in the Middle East. He served for four years in the Army after graduating from Chugiak High School.
Bohling volunteered for his first tour of duty in the Persian Gulf, according to information his parents, Charles and Sandra Bohling, gave the Anchorage Daily News in 2003. Bohling had been gone all year during his second stint in the Middle East, Rud said.
"It was Matthew's dream to be in the military," his father wrote. "He volunteered to be a replacement in the war with Iraq and within two weeks was gone from his unit at Fort Benning, Ga., and on the ground in the Mideast."
In 2003, Bohling's father wrote that his son "loves the typical Alaska lifestyle and is happy with gun or rod in hand. Fun is at its best for him if a four-wheeler is involved."
Rud confirmed Bohling's reputation as an enthusiastic outdoorsman.
"He just loved adventure, he loved being out hunting, fishing," Rud told the Daily News on Tuesday. "He truly loved Alaska.
Bohling was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division in Fort Benning, Ga.
He is at least the third Alaskan to die in the Iraq war.
Charles Bohling is a member of the Army National Guard. Bohling's brother Joshua enlisted in the Army six months ago and is training in Florida, Rud said.
In addition to his parents and brother, Bohling is survived by a younger sister, Sarah.