Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Army Pfc. Matthew J. England

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Matthew J. England, 22, of Gainesville, Mo.

Pfc England was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; died June 8, 2011 in An Najaf province, Iraq, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

On the day of Matthew’s funeral, Fort Leonard Wood’s Post Commander invited active duty and civilians on post to line the route of march as Matthew’s process of friends and family escorted Matthew England to his final resting place.

Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers And Civilians line up along Iowa and Missouri avenues to render honors as the motorcade for PFC England passes by. Photo By Micheal Curtis/Fort Leonard Wood.

3rd ACR Soldiers Remember Fallen Brother
By Sgt. David A. Bryant
36th Inf. Div., USD-S Public Affairs

NAJAF, Iraq – Soldiers from around U.S. Forces-­Iraq gathered together at Contingency Operating Site Endeavor June 13 for an emotional ceremony honoring the life and memory of a fallen brother from 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Pfc. Matthew J. England, a tank crewman serving as a driver with Maddog Company, 3rd “Thunder” Squadron, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, was killed by enemy actions when an improvised explosive device detonated by his vehicle June 8.

His parents, Daniel England and Pamela Hengen, survive the 22-­year-­old native of Gainesville, Mo.

England graduated from Lutie High School in 2008 and joined the Army a year later, completing basic training and advanced individual training as a tank crewman at Fort Knox, Ky. He was then assigned to 3rd ACR at Fort Hood, Texas and deployed to southern Iraq for Operation New Dawn.

His senior leaders spoke highly of England’s skills, noting that such a high-­caliber Soldier will be greatly missed by his fellow Soldiers.

“England was an unbelievable trooper. He was a smart guy who didn’t have to show you that he was smart,” said Lt. Col. Scott R. Gerber, squadron commander. “At a very young age, Matt was the man many of us wished we could become.”

England’s awards include:
Bronze Star
Purple Heart
Army Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Action Badge
Combat Spurs
Driver and Mechanic Badge.

Pfc. Douglas Wilder first met England when the two were at basic training. Wilder didn't know many people and England initiated a conversation, asking him where he was from and about his family.

"Just talking to him that day and days after made me think maybe it wasn't that bad after all," Wilder said. "Even though most soldiers get homesick weeks in (basic training), just talking and laughing with Pfc. England made me feel at home."

England was outgoing and always put others' needs before his own, Wilder said.

England was 22 years old when he died. He is survived by his father, Daniel England, and mother, Pamela Hengen

He’d been deployed since August and was assigned to maintain tanks and escort military convoys.

Matthew England graduated from Lutie High School where he was known as “Matt-Man” by close friends.

“He was funny and always had fun doing anything. He made anything funny really,” said his best friend.

Matthew’s family moved to Ozark County from Tennessee when he was just a boy. Matt was all over the woods and enjoyed playing in the water. He was full of life and full of spunk. His grandfathers served in previous wars and his stepfather earned a Bronze Star. That was Matthew’s goal as well.

Matt-Man’s family is definitely proud of him for serving. It was no secret that Matthew’s first choice had been the Air Force, but his service and final resting place is his Army home. Matthew’s parents are from the Missouri community of Gainesville, Missouri and selected Fort Leonard Wood Veterans Cemetery as his final
resting place.

From Matthews Guestbook

My special angel
I feel so blessed to have known you
And been a part of your life
I am so amazed by you

Always thinking of others
Before the needs of your own
Going out of your way with your brothers
You're my awesome son

My special angel
You have made me so proud
What more could a mom ask for
But to have borrowed you for a while

by Pamela Hengen

Army Pfc. Matthew J. England was killed in action on 6/8/11.

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