Matthew R Vandegrift
April 21, 2008
Killed while conducting combat operations in Basrah, Iraq.
|HONORING FIRST LIEUTENANT MATTHEW RYAN VANDEGRIFT -- HON. THOMAS G. TANCREDO (Extensions of Remarks - April 30, 2008)
HON. THOMAS G. TANCREDO
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
* Mr. TANCREDO. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the sacrifice of a fallen hero and Marine from my district, First Lieutenant Matthew Ryan Vandegrift, of Littleton, Colorado. First Lieutenant Vandegrift was killed while conducting combat operations in Basra, Iraq, just four days after celebrating his 28th birthday.
* First Lieutenant Vandegrift, stationed in Iraq since August 2007, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune, NC. Matthew was part of a team responsible for training Iraqi security forces. Through his service, Matthew played a critical role in establishing Iraqi sovereignty by preparing Iraqi security outfits with the knowledge and expertise necessary to survive as a free and independent democracy.
* Born and raised in Austin, Texas, First Lieutenant Vandegrift found his home in Colorado, when his family moved while Matthew was studying international business at Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M, Matthew maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average, and participated in the Midshipmen Battalion NROTC program. Following graduation, Matthew returned to Littleton, when in 2005 he courageously decided to continue the Vandegrift family tradition of serving America, by joining the United States Marine Corps.
* First Lieutenant Vandegrift fought to protect and preserve the freedom and democracy that we as Americans enjoy. First Lieutenant Vandegrift exemplified what it is to be an American, and he will forever be remembered for his sacrifice and patriotism.
* Madam Speaker, my most heartfelt condolences go out to Matthew's family and friends. He will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.
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Vandegrift HS formally dedicated
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|Marine 1st Lt. Matthew R. Vandegrift remembered
The Associated Press
Growing up in Texas, Matthew R. Vandegrift was the kid in the middle of the rock fight, the one who dropped a cat out a second-story window to see if it really would land on its feet, and the one who put the emergency brake on a car that was rolling down a hill after he saw it in a James Bond movie.
“He was never the guy to start the fight,” said his brother, Barrett. “But he was always the one to finish it.”
Vandegrift, 28, of Littleton, Colo., died April 21 from wounds sustained during combat in Basra. He was a 2003 graduate of Texas A&M, where he was part of the school’s Midshipmen Battalion NROTC program, and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.
Vandegrift fulfilled a lifelong desire to serve his country and to follow in the footsteps of his father, who served in the Marine Corps from 1963 to 1971. “That boy thought I hung the moon,” said his father, John Vandegrift. “It’s the proudest thing I can claim.”
Mary Jane Vandegrift described her son as a charismatic child who grew into a caring man, someone who was determined to better the lives of those around him.
“He was the perfect kid,” she said. “One in a million.”
|Littleton Marine Killed In Iraq
Associated Press, Apr 25, 2008
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP/CBS4) ― The Department of Defense says a North Carolina-based Marine has died from combat injuries he suffered in Iraq.
The military says 28-year-old 1st Lt. Matthew R. Vandergrift of Littleton died Monday after he was injured in Basra. He had turned 28 four days earlier, his family said.
"I'm happy for him that he's in heaven and I'm happy for him that he died the way he did serving this country," Barrett Vandergrift, Matthew's brother, told CBS4.
Vandergrift was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
A spokesman at Camp Lejeune says Vandergrift joined the Marines in 2005 and trained as an artillery officer.
He was assigned to a military transition team with the Iraqi army when he was fatally wounded. His family said he had been in Iraq for about 8 months and was training Iraqi soldiers.
Matthew R. Vandergrift's brother Barrett is a helicopter pilot with the Air Force and his father is a former Marine.
"One of reasons we've all served in our family is because we owe people, really for all of mankind, because this battle in Iraq is no different than any other war," John Vandergrift, the family father, told CBS4. "Good versus evil has been here since the beginning of time."
Matthew Vandergrift will be buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery with full military honors. His family asked that memorial contributions be made to programs that help the children and spouses of soldiers who died serving their country.
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