Thursday, June 09, 2011

Marine Cpl. Matthew T. Richard

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Matthew T. Richard, 21, of Acadia, La.

Cpl Richard was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C., died June 9, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

Cpl Richard graduated from Iota High School in 2008, where he played football.

He joined the Marine Corps in July 2008. He deployed for the second time in January and was promoted to corporal March 2, 2011.

He loved to fish, shoot ducks, and hang out with his buddies. He loved football and the physical nature of the game.

Former teachers say he was an outstanding student. "He was well respected by his teachers and he was a big football player. He was very tenacious," said the Iota High School Principal.

Mother, Alicia, said her son's dream was always to serve in the military. "The first journal he wrote was in the 2nd grade. The first sentence was 'I want to be a soldier'.

Over the years, she said her son studied the different branches of the military before settling on the Marines because "they were hard-core."

His great-grandfather had served in the Air Force and mother said, "I think he was just in awe of him."

His mother, Alicia, said Matthew begged to join the military when he was 17, but he had to wait until a week before his 18th birthday.

Initially the family tried to talk him out of joining, fearing for his well being, his mother said. "He said he he had to because it was his dream and if he didn't do it, he would regret it," she said. "His second dream was to have a family. He'll never have that."

Statement from the Richard Family:

The family would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to the United States Marines. Matthew was our son but he was their brother. The Marines have treated Matthew and the family with dignity, respect, and love through this horrible tragedy. They have gone above and beyond to help us - from the morning they knocked on our front door until now. We would like to specifically thank the Marine unit stationed in Lafayette. Their patience and love for folks they never met has been unconditional. They are now part of our family and will never again walk through the front door. Thank you!

Cpl Richard's awards include:

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
NATO Medal

Cpl Richard is survived by his parents, Alicia and Richard; brother, Jeff; sister, Laura

Marine Cpl. Matthew T. Richard was killed in action on 6/9/11.

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