TUALATIN, OR, U.S.A. U.S. MARINE CORPS CPL, WPNS CO, 2D BN 3D MAR (RCT-3, 2D MEB FWD)3D MAR DIV, KANEOHE BAY, HI 07/10/2009, BETHESDA, MD, U.S.A.
CPL Lembke was a Tualatin High graduate. He was a popular student and an athlete. Matthew was nicknamed “Lumpe” by a high school coach. Matthew and sister Carolyn growing up shared the beauty of the Oregon outdoors- camping, fishing, hunting and crabbing. The 22-year-old Marine sniper was one of 50 Marines to try out for a specialized platoon. He was one of seven who passed all examinations, and events, and was selected. He joined the Marine Corps when he was 18 years old.
Before his last deployment, on a visit home, Matthew had begun to talk, for the first time, about life after the Marine Corps. He talked about going to college and considered a career in the FBI. Claudia Lembke, Matthew’s mother, faced her son’s third deployment by focusing on CPL Lembke’s life after the war and his growing interest in college. Many of his high school friends had graduated from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. On his last trip home, he’d grilled friends about classes.
CPL Lembke’s platoon commander, 1stLT Joseph Cull, wrote Lembke’s family. In his letter he praised CPL Lembke’s character, and noted “the profound respect all within our battalion have for [Lembke’s] professionalism and solid character.” He serving his third combat tour.
The Reverend Paul Peri praised CPL Lembke’s quiet faith and a spirit of self-sacrifice at his funeral Mass.
Matthew leaves behind his parents, Claudia and Dale and sister, Carolyn.