BALLWIN, MO, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, DET A, H&S CO, 3D BN, 24TH MAR, 4TH MAR DIV, BRIDGETON, MO FALLUJAH, IRAQ 02/07/2007
Matthew P. Pathenos woke up every day with a smile – and held it all day long.
Lance Corporal Robert Cross remembers how Pathenos would greet him when he returned from patrolling Fallujah. He would always ask me if I had a rough day at the office and then proceed to tell me how he spent all day cooking and cleaning the house for me, Cross wrote. It was those little jokes that made me forget about the horrible things that we see right outside in the city.
Pathenos, 21, of Ballwin, Mo., was killed Feb. 7 by a roadside bomb in Fallujah. He was a 2003 high school graduate and was assigned to Bridgeton.
Pathenos joined the Marines after the 2001 terrorist attacks, inspired in part by his older brother, Christopher, a Marine sergeant. Nicholas Pathenos last spoke to his nephew a few weeks before he was deployed. They talked about planes.
Matthew got his pilots license at age 14 and teased his uncle that a Cessna aircraft was better than a Piper. I told him when he gets back, we’ll go flying, the uncle recalled.
Pathenos was a 2003 graduate of Parkway South High School. Matthew paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and the future generations of this country. Matthew lived as though Heaven is on Earth. He sang as though no one could hear him and danced as though no one was watching him. A proclamation by the City of Manchester honors Matthew for his service and courage. A plaque will sit next to a tree and park bench to be dedicated in his name. It’s in an area where Matthew used to play Frisbee golf. He was 20.
He also is survived by his parents, Gus Pathenos and Paula Erney.