By Bill Shields, WBZ-TVBy Bill Shields

FALMOUTH (CBS) – The family of a Falmouth soldier killed in Iraq this past June said they have been told his death was a homicide.

Army Sgt. Matthew Gallagher was killed on June 26, a week before his 23rd birthday, under what were said to be mysterious circumstances while serving with the 1st Cavalry Division.

Nearly 500 people turned out for Falmouth’s celebration of Veteran’s Day.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

But the day was bittersweet for the  Gallagher family. “This is a day to celebrate Matt, but we’d like some answers at the same time,” said Matt’s mother, Cheryl Ruggiero.

Sgt. Gallagher was killed in Iraq last summer, but by one of his own men. “When the officers came to my door, I thought I knew what had happened,” said Matt’s father, Pete Gallagher. “They said he died fighting, during sweeps of homes. Later, we find out he died in his bunk.”

The Gallaghers say the Army didn’t tell them the truth for weeks and even now, they know few details.

Matt’s widow, Katie, wants some answers too, but is still focused on the young man she married less than two years ago.”He was the funniest kid I’ve ever known and he’d give you the shirt off his back, even if he didn’t know you.”

Today, in Falmouth, they unveiled a granite marker, with Sgt. Gallagher’s name on it. It will be added to the Veteran’s Walkway in front of the town library. Gallagher’s marker will be the 23rd, each representing a soldier who has died in the service of their country.

Bill Shields

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