USMC Sgt. Matthew J. Fenton, 24, of Little Ferry, N.J., died May 6 at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., from wounds received while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq on April 26.He was injured when a bomb exploded near his Humvee outside Fallijah. Shrapnel tore into his head and he was later airlifted to the U.S., where he died over the weekend.
This brings New Jersey's Iraq casualty count to forty-three. As of May 10th, 2428 American soldiers have given their lives in Bush's Iraq war. Nearly 18,ooo have been severely injured.
Said Little Ferry Council President Mauro Raguseo, "In the coming days, the citizens of the borough and the surrounding communities will come together to honor Sgt. Fenton and bid him farewell. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. For this, Sgt. Fenton is a hero, and his return to Little Ferry warrants a respectful, somber and dignified hero's welcome."
The body of the 24-year-old Marine will lie in repose in the Little Ferry Council Chambers at Borough Hall tomorrow and Friday as a Marine Corps honor guard stands watch. A funeral procession will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday along Liberty Street, from Borough Hall to St. Margaret's of Cortona Church. Fenton's family as well as the mayor and members of the borough council will walk behind the hearse.As a peace activist, it's tough to write about this without launching into a commentary about the Iraq War. But I am also the son of a decorated Vietnam vet who learned some tough and painful lessons about the costs of war first hand.
May God rest Matthew Fenton's soul and bless and keep his family.