WOLFEBORO FALLS, NH, USA U.S. Army CPL, TROOP C, 1ST SQUADRON, 7TH CAVALRY, FORT HOOD, TX TAJI, IRAQ 12/16/2006
Matthew Stanley may not have lived to see his 23rd birthday or his first wedding anniversary. But in the short span of years he was granted, Army CPL. Matthew Stanley left an indelible imprint on all the people that he met. His unforgettable smile, his mischievous, fun-loving nature and his propensity to push the envelope in whatever direction he could manage all aptly describes CPL Stanley. When James Savage Jr. and his family moved to New Hampshire on Halloween in 2000, his stepbrother, Matthew J. Stanley, then 16, made sure his 8-year-old niece didn’t miss out. He took my daughter trick-or-treating for the night even though he was 16 years old and would have preferred to be out with his friends, said Savage.
Sergant Juan Olivera, who served with Stanley in the 1st Calvary Division recalled the first time he met Stanley, in September of 2004 in Iraq.”He was leaning up against a wall smoking a cigarette and I was a little uptight,” said Olivera. “He told me, with this great big smile on his face ‘you need to relax, man.’ He did amazing things when we were deployed together. We cleared a room inside a building looking for insurgents, a pretty tense situation, and when I looked over at him he still had that same smile on his face. He was a phenomenal kid.”
High school principal Paul MacMillan called Stanley a “blue collar scholar” who, by the time he had graduated, was well prepared to take on a role in the community, perhaps as a firefighter or EMT, which he would have performed admirably.
“He had a great work ethic and was ready to give back to the community,” said MacMillan.
MacMillan recalled that Stanley was a behind-the-scenes student who enjoyed videotaping school plays and doing Homecoming construction in the high school’s hallways.
He was just one of those kids, happy-go-lucky, all the time, said his stepbrother. He loved life. He was a fun person to be around. He just thought going to the military was an honorable thing to do.
Stanley was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Wolfeboro area, graduating from Kingswood Regional High School in 2002. Stanley attended North Shore Community College. He joined the military in December 2003.
He was married last December and he and his wife, Amy, lived in Fort Hood, Texas, before he returned to Iraq this year for a second tour of duty.
His sister, Melissa said her fondest memories of her brother are as “a jokester, a goofball.” She recalled that when he asked her to dance with him at his wedding last year, he warned her “You might want to take your shoes off for this one.”