Funeral held for Jewish soldier who fought in Afghanistan

Family and friends of a Jewish American soldier who died in Afghanistan earlier this month have paid tribute to his bravery.

Airman Matthew Seidler, 24, from Maryland, was killed on January 5, by an improvised explosive device attack in the Helmand province.

Sergeant Seidler's funeral was held on Tuesday and he has now been buried at Arlington National Cemetery alongside other former servicemen.

Some 500 mourners were present at the funeral, where Sergeant Seidler was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for heroism and a Purple Heart medal.

His father said the soldier had found his calling when he joined the army. "He was very happy with his band of brothers," said Marc Seidler.

"He never questioned his commitment to his country."

He added that the last thing his son had told the family was that he loved them, in a phone call after New Year's Eve. "He was very happy."

Last updated: 5:01pm, January 19 2012