Hundreds Honor Fallen Weyerhauser Marine

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The lines of people waiting to pay tribute to the Lance Corporal Andy Matus extended far beyond the doors of the Weyerhauser high school gym.

And inside that gym, every chair was filled with people who were touched by his patriotism and his service.

"Andy was anxious to do a job that was sometimes lonely and sometimes dangerous, a job that put him in harms way while defending his country, Andy was one of those brave Americans who was willing to do that," Weyerhauser District Administrator Barbara Lorkowski said.

His friends say he was a Marine, before he ever enlisted, with a stoic demeanor and sense of dignity every recruiter dreams off. But, they say this quiet young man also enjoyed all life had offer. He loved hunting and fishing, was great with tools, enjoyed political debates with his friends and even played the accordion.

Still, his teachers say his life's dream was to serve the country he loved so dearly.

"He would get this little grin on his face when we'd be talking about World War II or Vietnam or whatever it was and he would just nod his head and I knew exactly that what he wanted to be part of our history," Andy's History teacher Jay Hatcher said.

And as his family was presented with a purple heart, that dream came true. The young man who longed to serve, was honored by his school, his county, and his country, joining the ranks of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and making a mark on history his friends say will never be forgotten.

The Matus family has set up a memorial fund in Andy's name at the First Memorial Bank of Chetek.