Iowa soldier dies at Guantanamo Bay

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba -- A National Guard soldier from central Iowa died while swimming on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Matthew A. Cox, 19, of Leon, Iowa, was swimming at a Naval Station Guantanamo Bay beach when he was overpowered by a strong current, according to a press release from the National Guard. He was with four other service members at Cable Beach. None of the other members suffered injury.

The release states first responders searched the area using divers, boats and aircraft. The operation lasted into the afternoon on Oct. 17, when searchers recovered his body.

“This is indeed a sad day for the Iowa National Guard, Maj. Gen. Tim Orr, the Adjuctant General of the Iowa National Guard, said. "My heart aches for Matthew’s family as well as the Soldiers he served
with in the 186th MP Company.”

Cox enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard on Oct. 11, 2017. He was deployed to Cuba in July, 2018.

Officials are investigating the incident.