Today I had the privilege to line up in the street to render honors to a Fallen Hero. Word went around yesterday that a Hero was going to be escorted through FLW and they were encouraging everybody who could to go out and line up along the route he would be traveling on. I knew instantly that I would be there. This morning the boys and I met up with others at the USO, gathered some flags and waited for the procession to start. Kevin was lined up somewhere else on post with the Soldiers in his unit.
Where we were along the route we had many companies of Soldiers who are currently in Basic Training and AIT. I was pretty emotional when they started lining up. Many of these Soldiers are only two years older than my oldest son. PFC Matthew England was only 22 years young.
Kevin & I are so proud of our boys who are always ready to do their part. Neil held the American Flag and even saluted with it when the hearse went by. Michael held the USO flag to show the support that our great FLW USO has for our Soldiers and their Families. Daniel held his little flag and stood so reverently. I get so choked up with emotion when I think about PFC England's mother, I cannot imagine the pain. I know how much I love my boys.
I feel truly humbled to have been able to stand in honor of PFC Matthew England. To stand among Soldiers, Veterans and other Military Family members. I am not ashamed of the tears that I shed today in honor of a hero.
I love our community and I love that so many came out to support PFC Matthew Joseph England. I hope his family felt the love through all of us who lined the streets.
I truly believe that we must honor our Fallen Heroes...we must say their names, read their stories and carry out their legacies. That is the LEAST we can do to honor their Sacrifice!
God Bless PFC Matthew England
Soldier from Ozark County dies in military service
Matthew England was scheduled to return home in August.
GAINESVILLE, Mo. -- Private First Class Matthew England, who graduated from Lutie High School in 2007, has died in an IED explosion in Iraq. England was the son of Pamela Hengen of the Gainesville area and Daniel England of Bartlett, Tennessee.
Joe and Pamela Hengen were looking forward to their son Matthew's return home this summer. The Hengens live between Gainesville and Theodosia. "He loved it out here in the woods. He was always out here. We had to go find him half the time," says Joe Hengen, Matthew's step-father.
But Matthew isn't coming home the way they had hoped. "Told her he was sending stuff home because his deployment's up in August," says Hengen.
They just learned Wednesday night that Matthew was killed in an IED explosion while on an escort mission in Iraq. "You never think it's going to happen to your kid," says Hengen.
Matthew was the kid that graduated from Lutie High School, was great with computers, and always wanted to fly. "Ever since I've known him, two years old, once he started talking, he wanted to be a pilot," Hengen says.