Sunday, January 21, 2007

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Matus

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Matus, 19, of Chetek, Wis.

Lance Cpl. Matus was assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Jan. 21 from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. -- Lance Cpl. Andrew Matus, 19, graduated in 2005 from Weyerhaeuser High School and had already signed up to be a Marine before that, his father Gary Matus of Chetek said when contacted Monday evening.

He said he had been told his son was shot in Anbar Province. The Pentagon had not yet released any details on the death. The family was informed of the death Sunday, relatives said.

"He was a good kid," said the Marine's grandmother Virginia Matus of Bruce. "He wanted to go. That's what he wanted."

Gary Matus said many family members have served in the military. He said he and his sister are Army veterans, a brother served in Vietnam and his mother and father also served.

As for his son, "he wanted to be a Marine, mainly," he said.

He is the 68th Wisconsin member of the military to die in the Iraq war.

Matus played football in his sophomore year of high school and enjoyed weightlifting, mechanics, hunting and fishing, his mother, Donna Matus, said.

Teachers at Weyerhaeuser said he was creative and good with his hands and was named "Technology Education Student of the Year" there in 2005.

"He's probably the best mechanic I ever saw," said Richard Manor, a technology education teacher at Weyerhaeuser. "If you needed a part, he'd make the parts. He was very talented."

Matus also designed and built furniture and games to raise money for community programs.

"If anybody ever asked him to do anything, he'd be more than happy to help out," Todd Solberg, the school's principal, said.

Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew G. Matus was killed in action on 1/21/07.

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