- 22 years old
- Date of birth: Apr 17, 1989
- Date of passing: Jun 8, 2011
|Let the memory of Matthew be with us forever|
This is a tribute to my son, Matthew Joseph England,, who was killed in action in An Najah province, Iraq when enemy forced attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd squadron, 3d Armored Calvary regiment Ft Hood Texas.
My Matthew was an Ozark Mountain boy raised in the rural southern Missouri area near the town of Gainesville by me (his mother) and his step-father. Matthew’s extended family includes his natural father, paternal grandfather, aunts and uncles in Tennessee as well as his maternal grandmother and other family members in Alabama. Matthew attended school at Lutie R-6 accelerated school in Theodosia, MO where he was in the Honors Society and graduated as salutatorian. He got his first job at the age of sixteen and had been gainfully employed since that date. In addition to serving in the US Army Matthew was working hard at earning his college degree.
Matthew had set some lofty goals for his future. His “dream job” had always been to someday fly military aircraft; it did not matter what kind of aircraft, as long as he could pilot something. He had hoped his commanding officers would someday see fit to nominate him for Warrant Officer Flight School. If that was not to be, Matthew’s backup plan was equally ambitious. He would remain serving in the military until graduating from college in hopes that a college degree, coupled with his experience as a veteran soldier, would be enough to entice the CIA into allowing him a shot at joining their coveted ranks. It did not necessarily have to be as a covert agent—a position sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer analyzing data would have been just fine. He was a whiz at computers.
But his life was far from being all seriousness. When home in the Ozarks Matthew enjoyed the lakes in the summertime, especially when getting a thrill by jumping from the tops of the bluffs (young person craziness). In the colder months he fervently wished for snow to fall deep enough to allow him break out his snowboard. While stationed at Ft. Hood where there was little chance of going snowboarding, he substituted his snowboard with a skateboard and quickly came to enjoy that sport. The big adventure he was waiting anxiously to do after his tour was over was to learn to skydive. He spent the past year trying to entice his stepdad (a former army paratrooper) into returning to the skies to take lessons. Matthew loved music of all kinds, especially classic rock, and was a fan of movies. Matthew was a “muscle car” enthusiast. He owned two Camaros—a 1984 Z-28 given to him on his 16th birthday by his stepdad and me and a 1993 Z-28 he bought on his own. He was saving his money to buy a brand new Dodge Challenger.
Matthew England was a proud, dedicated soldier who was intelligent and witty and driven. He was a good friend to those deserving. He especially cherished the bond developed with those fellow soldiers with whom he served side by side. Those young fighting men—many of whom I feel I know personally—are true friends, evident by their genuine posts on Matthew’s Facebook page and their heartfelt correspondences with me. My husband is a former soldier and he mentioned so many times the camaraderie that exists between soldiers; I now truly understand.
I think back over the life I spent with Matthew…it went by so quickly yet was filled with so many wondrous things! I could write forever about him in this dedication but I will end with this…PFC Matthew Joseph England was my loving son…and to me, he was simply awesome.
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