Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine Cpl. Matthew E. Matula

20, of Spicewood, Texas.
Matula died from hostile fire in Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on April 9, 2004.

Hi to everyone and thanks so much for your words of comfort as well as all the prayers everyone has been sending to us. My son Matthew was a very proud Marine. He was a fine young man. We were truly blessed by having him in our life. He has a daughter on the way that is due mid-August 2004. Her name will be Mackenzie Marie Matula so a little of him will live on. We have set up a trust fund for her in Matthews Memorial fund at our church. The Marines have been wonderful and helping us cope with Matthew's death. Also people like you have also help ease some of our sorrow. Thanks again for everything.

Toni Matula

Cpl. Matthew Matula Memorial Fund
Trinity Episcople Church
PO Box 633
Marble Falls TX 78654-0633

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Cpl. Matthew E. Matula.


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Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"You are always in my thoughts brother. You was an awesome radio operator and friend. Take care of our fellow brothers in heaven. I will do my best here on earth to make you and our fellow Marines Proud.

Golf Company 2/1 Company Gunnery Sergeant"
Dallas Bibbs of Crown Point, IN

"Never forget"

"Matt i still miss you like crazy you were my best friend llaycee 21 now remember her singing to you love you forever i know your watching over your baby girl but keeps us close too ok"
Tiffany green of Rainbow ca

"It's been 11 years bro and I still remember you. God bless your family"
Gamble of Usmc

"To the family of Matthew E. Matula, we continue to think of Matt each day. I proudly wear a Hero bracelet honoring him and never forget the sacrifice you and he made for our country. God Bless You always. 3/27/2015"
Rita and Dale of Burnet, Texas

I remember that day well, waiting in the back of the trucks when the mortars came in. RIP marine. Semper Fi"
Jason Bond of Simi Valley, California

I think about you every day. I think about you because without you, I wouldn't be where I am today. We met back in boot camp. We were part of LIMA Company. I know you remember because you were my bunk mate. I was really over weight and had a huge struggle in boot camp. I weighed 270 lbs. Crazy I know. But when I left boot camp I was 198 lbs. You got me through that. Your words of motivation got me through that hell. Our conversations will be kept in my heart forever. I will never forget giving each other a bro hug at the San Diego airport after boot camp. We both wanted to stay with each other but that just was not possible. We always said we would keep in tough but we didn't. I hate myself for that because you are my brother. I miss you Matt. I miss you a lot. I will continue to think about you everyday of my life and I can't wait to see you again. I love you bro."
Thomas J Schiller of Suffolk, VA

"Hey Matula,
Not a day goes by that I don't think about you and those days when metal once rained. During a difficult and unpredictable time in Fallujah, as the sun was setting, you told me you had recently found out you were going to have a little girl. I congratulated you and seconds later our conversation was interrupted by enemy mortar fire which impacted several yards from us. We said goodbye and we both ran for cover. You headed back to the Company C.P. and disappeared under the cammy netting. I returned to my shallow fighting hole and resumed my watch. That was April 8th, 2004. And that was the last conversation we had. The following morning, Golf 2/1 changed forever. I miss you buddy. I owe you a ton of Marlboro Reds and so much more. I try to live each day of my life in a manner I believe you would appreciate... as I believe you would live. I cannot thank you enough for all you did for us. You worked hard and busted your butt until your last second with us. Nine years later I have my own little one on the way and I can't imagine being far away fighting as YOU did, during such an unsightly, uncertain, and . . . frightening time in my life. You are much stronger than I. Thanks again, buddy. As I fight my way through life bearing a ton of "survivor's guilt" on my shoulders, I hope I am making you proud. God Bless You, Matt."
Deputy Reyes of FALLUJAH 2004

"To Matt,

I still keep a pic of you and me drunk in Bahrain! We had some good times hanging out, and even though its been 8 years, I miss you dude. You were a cool buddy to have. My heart goes out to your entire family. Semper Fi Cpl. Matula"
Stephen Bennett of Depew, NY

"i was there for the unfortunate event when cpl matula passed. i didn't know him as a friend but he was a great marine. our dedicated corpsmen did everything to save him but god took him for reason only he knows. god bless you guys"
jess parra of norwalk ca usa

"man I cant believe its been 6 rs Mom was going through all her things when we found pics of you I really did love you you were alwas nice to me we explained to my brother who is now 7 about you!! you always were a good person Congrats on your daughter I know you would have been a good dad you were always good to me Llaycee"
llaycee of menifee

As we remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I think about you. I went through my High School Memory Box and found some of the coolest pictures of you and John Shirley. I was so sad to here that you died serving a country that you proudly served. I know that you are with us all and I miss you more than words can describe. As my husband would say, "I'll see you on the green, brother.""
Kristina Bell (Doyal) of Leander, TX

"From Jr High, High School to the Marine Corps together. Mat you may be physiclly gone but your presence is felt & you will not be forgotten. God bless the Matula family"
Larry Charles Washington Jr of Cherry Point, NC (MF,TX)

"Semper Fidelis. Semper Memento."
Paul Ratchford GySgt (Ret)

"To the family of:Matthew E. Matula
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga" 1-3-11"

"Hey Matt, Just stopping by to say I miss you. Wish you were here. Hope your hanging out with all the great Marines up there who have gone before their time. Rest Brother"
Matthew Maruster of San Diego, California

"I graduated high school at LHHS w/ Matt in 1979.

Matt, I wanted to salute your son in his bravery to his country on this Memorial Day weekend. God Bless America and our soldiers. Take care, buddy."
Michelle Winn of Houston, TX, USA

"April 16, 2009
To the family of Cpl. Matthew E. Matula:
Matthew gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I knew Matt back in high school. I just wanted to give my condolences to his family. And, to say that he was my friend and I am proud to be able to say that I knew him. He is always in my heart and memory. I think I took my freedom for granted for a long time. Now, when I see anyone in any uniform, I shake their hand and tell them, "Thank you. Thank you for protecting me and my children." Whether it be in a grocery store or at work. So, now I am greatful for the opportunity to say, "Thank you, Matt, for protecting me and my children.""
Missy LeRoy of once, Granite Shoals, TX

"Dear Matt and Toni,
I know I have spoken to you several times since it happened. I thought I would finally leave a note myself. Matt was one of my best friends. Not a day goes by that I dont think of the good times we had and some of the crazy things we used to do. Hope everything is going good for you guys. Catch you later."
John Adamson of Ft Worth Texas

"To the Family and Friends of Cpl Matula,
I was in Golf Co. and was there at the staging area when Matt passed. I can't put to words how sorry I am for your loss.
Hopefully you can take some comfort in the fact that your sons passing has made me a better father and husband. You see, Julie and my wife were pregnant at the some time, just about a month apart. Matt and I would share any information we got on our wives and babies when ever we got word from home. We were at the Rock A.S.P. when we found out he was having a girl...
Regan is just over two now, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am. When ever I'm having a bad day. Or, Regan's doing her annoying, "Daddy...Daddy...Daddy!" I thank heaven that I have the opportunity to know my Daughter. I will cherish everyday, thanks to Cpl Matula.
I hope this message turns out well, and expresses my feelings. Maybe this evening we can all tuck our kids in bed and thank Matt for touching our lives."
Sgt Eric Widerman of Parris Island, S.C.

"Hey Mat,
I didn't know you all to well, I met you a few times when i worked in Camp Horno. I thought I would just stop by and thank you for your service.. Today is veterans day.. and for that I thank you.. and wish your family well"
Jennessee of California

"Hi toni, im just letting you know matt was a very proud marine and you have raised a wonderful son and i always knew he would be a great father."
Aleigha Hamilton of Spicewood TX

"Corporal Mathew Matula’s commitment to the Marine Corps and his country creates the very fabric of American myth and patriotism that we have always strived to achieve for over two hundred years. Corporal Matula made a sacrifice far greater then himself. Without a doubt our country and the people of Iraq owe him and his family a debt we can’t possibly fathom. Good men have never been honored for what they received, but for only what they gave.

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."—President Ronald Reagan, 1985

Good luck, God speed, and Semper Fidelis."
Derek Baker of Bloomington, IN

"My sister and brother as well knew matt my sister was very proud fo him. My brother andy hamilton has now join the marines we are all very proud of him. I just wanted to say thank you matt for every thing you have ever done for our country."
Aleigha Hamilton of spicewood tx 78669

"I had the privilege of serving with Cpl. Matula while I was with Golf Co. He was my radio operator a couple of times, and I always got to talk to him when he was giving the radios to the squads. Although I did not get to know him as a friend, I knew him as a Marine. He was a great Marine and always gave 100 percent. Words can not express what I feel, but I want his family to know that he will never be forgotten. God bless you."
Sgt. Villalobos of Long Beach, CA

"I wish there was a way for me to express my sorrow to this family. I used to live right down the road from Matt and Anthony. We had many good times and I just can't believe that this has happened. I am going to a memorial service today for soldiers lost in Iraq. Matt will be in my thoughts and prayers."
Sara Bartlett of Williamsport, PA

"Matt i miss you. I spent many high school days with you. the jokes and the pranks will be greatly misses your brother is a fine young man and i hope to hear from him soon. lots of love to the family. ill see you again someday."
Darin Levlon of Austin tx

"I was the Communications Maintenance Chief for 2/1 when Matthew first got to the unit and for our first trip to OIF. I never got to know Matthew as a friend but I knew him as a fellow Marine. I watched him grow from a young slightly rebellious country boy to a fine Marine leader. He was tasked as a Company Radio operator which meant he had much more responsibility than most Marine LCpl's. He was directly responsible for the ability of an entire company of Marine infantrymen to be able to talk on the battlefield. When he first took the job, myself and the Comm Chief were constantly on his butt. Although we rode him hard, we knew he was doing a good job and his plate was pretty full. He rose to the challenge. This may seem to be a small thing but I bet your wouldn't hear that from his fellow Marines of Golf Company 2/1. When we came back from OIF I, I remember back to the morning before one battalion hike. A seasoned Cpl Matula was helping one of the new "boot" radio operators and teaching him. He had developed into a true Marine leader. I was proud of him at that moment. I met his young wife when she was out on the grinder to greet 2/1 when they returned from OIF 2 without Matthew. God Bless you Ma'am and there are a lot of us out here who will be glad to one day tell your child what a great man Matt was. He is in my thoughts constantly but especially on this Veteran's Day when I remember the heroes I was fortunate enough to know personally."
GySgt Paul Ratchford of Twentynine Palms, CA

thank you so much for everything you've done for our country. You taught me so much. Everything from about the marines to dancing to country music. You were the best guy ever and thats why i love you. im glad you found your soul mate before you past and iam sure your daughter is beautiful. If she is anything like her dad im sure she will grow up to be an amazing woman."
Carli or what you liked to call me "Alexis" of Colorado

"Mathew, I want to thank you for protecting us on behalf of myself, my family, and my fellow americans. You gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms in America. I will not forget and will make sure my children will never FORGET!!!"
Jay Evans of Spicewood, Texas UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

"Matt i often think of you... I was hit about 3 feet from you and know that you and you alone saved my life... i miss you and think about what a great person and great marine you were.. mckenzie would be so proud of you, just as julie is... i thank you for everything you've done for our company. you are my hero, and i truly appreciate everything you did for me. i miss you so much, and will never forget your sacrifice. i have a memory of you that will never be forgotten. you will forever be one of my brothers. thank you so much for saving my life, even though you'll never know how thankful i am. i love you bro, take care. i miss you,.. this world needs more people like you. goodbye matthew...."
Lcpl Stephen Bray of Carlsbad, CA

"Good bye, my friend. Its been a plearure serving with you. I'm lost in my words today as in the day I watched you go. You served with pride and courage. I've admired you since the day we met. We'll meet again. Semper Fidelis."
Cpl. Reyes of Camp Pendleton, CA

"I just wanted to tell Matthew's parents that I have a bracelet that I am wearing that has Matthew's name on it that I bought online from heroes bracelets. I wanted to know if Matthew's picture would be on the internet so I could put a face with his name. I pray that God will give you peace and heal your broken heart at this time."
Janet Cauley of Cumming, GA USA

"No words can express the true feeling of remorse. I was blessed with serving with Cpl Matula for 2 and a half years. Julie you are in my prayers. To the Matula family, thank you for bringing a true HERO into this world.

Cpl Todd of Montezuma, IN

"I'm sure

you've left me with something
the will to hang on to nothing
and I seem to be unwell,
can someone tell me why
I'm swimming into nothing

I'm walking into hope
like a mailbox with a note
trying to get somewhere
far away from there, I'm sure

Can someone tell me why I'm here
trying to overcome my fears
of things slipping in my way
trying to send me far away from here
I'm sure

moving from your place
seeing through your eyes
and seeing your desolate face
expressionless as ever before
I wish there was a cure
when forever turns to never
and you'll never fade away...
I'm sure.

Anthony Lee Matula
In memory of my brother
Corp. Matthew E. Matula"
The Proudest Brother and Best Freind of Austin Tx. U.S.A

I want you to know that your brother was a great man who always made me fell welcome. He will always have a special place in my heart. I pray that God will give you the strenght that it takes to carrie on his good name and his strong heart. You brother is my Hero and I WILL always remember him. My brother spoke very strong about Matt and I enjoyed watching our brothers graduate toghter at boot camp. I send my condolences and love."
Shawna Stegemoller of Hamilton, TX

"Matt, you will always be there! Even that I did not know you very well my son did. You were a freind for him and there are no words to say thank you! You was here for Scot and so many others.Thank you for your kindness. And thank you family for teaching you that kindness. I am greatful I was able to know you and thankful for what you gave up to protect your family and freinds. Thank you for this right you give us all."
kayren of Pottsville TX

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide happy loving memories in place of present sorrows. Look to the sky for in the infinite meadows of Heaven the bright shining stars bloom....the forget-me-nots of angels. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in Phoenix, AZ

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"Corporal Matula, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"I just found out what happened and i am so sorry to hear this.matthew is a good good friend and a outstanding radio operator.i will pray for you the family and for his friends.i was with him on his first tour in iraq and we got to know each other well.belive me he is a man of honor, and deserves all the respect in the world and more.May GOd bless you."
CPL.RAMOS-SANCHEZ of west palm beach,florida


"I woke him up more than once in the middle of the night to have him fix my radio. He was a great kid, he lived a good life but was taken to soon. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. 2/1 G co"
Sgt. Floyd of North Vernon, IN

"We all know that words can't express the loss as no words can fill the void left behind, but during his 1st tour, I was (then) LCpl Matula's Co. 1stSgt. His actions affected many then as does his passing now. He leaves us with a point of light to protect and honor and two COUNTRIES owe him their thanks.
Family and friends can stand tall in the fact that he IS a good Marine and forever with us, "Once a Marine always a Marine"."
1stSgt J.R. Sweet of Brig Co. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA

"To The Family of Matthew Matula: I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. He is a hero, whose bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten. A salute to a fallen soldier- THANK YOU, MATTHEW! May you rest peacefully in Heaven."
Tina Rexroad, sister-in-law of Peter Enos, who was KIA on 4/09/04 of WV

"My deepest sympathy to the family of CPL Matthew E. Matula. I met Mathew briefly during his first deployment to Iraq on the USS Tarawa. He was a fine young man and a proud Marine. He is a hero who paid the ultimate sacrafice in the name of freedom. Thank you Matthew. No words can express the amount of honor you bestowed on yourself and and the citizens of the U.S.A. We will never forget you and the other fallen heros of our past. God bless you and your family."
Thomas P. Matula, LCDR, USN of San Diego, California

"You will always be remembered."
Your Brothers of GOLF Company 2/1 of San Diego, California

"I wish to express my sympathies to the family as I did at Matthew's funeral. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I hurt for you. I pray you will be comforted in the arms of God. I hope you know how proud we are of the service Matthew gave for this nation, and for the people of Iraq. May they learn to appreciate what great sacrifice you have given for their freedom."
The Rosen Family of San Antonio, TX

"Though you cannot always see the bird singing, if you listen with your heart, you can always hear his song.
Though the ones we love may leave life as we know it, in our memory, the love we knew will always carry on." unknown author.
From one Marine family to another.
Our heart and thoughts are with you at this very sad time. Your precious Matthew will not be forgotten! He is a true American."
From the Charles Davis family of Kailua , Hawaii

"To the Family and friends of a great Marine. No words can ever ease your loss, but please know our hearts go out to you all. Matthew will always be remembered as long as there are Marines living on this planet. God bless you all and may you all find peace in this most difficult time."
Sgt Matthew Maruster of San Diego, California

"To the family of Cpl Matthew E. Matula

I was a Plt Sgt in Golf Co 2/1 during our first deployment to Iraq with your son. Words alone can not express the sorrow that I am feeling right now for your family because of your son passing. Not only does your family mourn but so does his family that he has gained during his time in Marine Corps. Your son will not be forgotten.

Semper Fi"
GySgt Marcel Lett of San Diego Ca

"To the family and friends of Corporal Matthew E. Matula

There are many loving and caring Americans from all over the United
States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has
made for our Freedom. In the Support section of this web site you
will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial
time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a
quilt to the next of kin. Please register so we can send you
our "Love Stitched Together."

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort
in love's everlasting connection.

Proud Member Of Marine Comfort Quilt group, and Proud Marine Mom"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Rest in Peace Tufelhunden....Semper Fi"
The Taylors USMC of NC"

"To Matthew's Family:
There are no words to describe the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"To Matthew's Family:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincere condolences to you. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.

From the family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003"
Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Matthew, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Matthew Matula, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Matthew Matula:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Matthew for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Cpl. Matthew Matula:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Matthew, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on