Master Sgt. Matthew Vilsack, a contracting specialist assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard, died of health complications Saturday morning at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston.

The F-16 flying training unit is based at Kelly Field Annex, Joint Base San Antonio.

Vilsack enlisted into the Air Force in 2001 and transferred into the Air National Guard in 2011, according to an Air Force news release. He has served the last eight years with the 149th FW.

He deployed multiples times during his military career, and his decorations include the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Joint Service Commendation, among many others.

“Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things we do, and this farewell is no exception,” said Col. Raul Rosario, commander of the 149th Fighter Wing, in a statement. “We are all deeply affected by the sudden loss of our dear friend and co-worker.” Matt was such a warm and positive person, and he brought a tremendous amount of dedication and knowledge into work every day.

“As a friend and military brother, he is irreplaceable, and he will hold an enduring place in all of our hearts. It is our sincere hope that his family and loved ones find peace and strength during this terribly difficult time.”

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