ST. LOUIS, MO, U.S.A.
U.S. MARINE CORPS
LCPL, WPNS CO, 2D BN, 3D MAR,(RCT-7, I MEF FWD), 3D MAR DIV, KANEOHE BAY, HI
12/14/2006, ALBU HYATT, IRAQ
Mrs. Clark learned of her son’s death from Msgr. Gardin, the family friend and priest. LCPL Clark had designated his mother as his emergency contact on the form he filled out before deploying to Iraq. He wanted Msgr. Gardin to be with his mother if she were notified of his death.
News of Matthew’s death spread quickly at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. He graduated in 2002. Matthew was an integral part of the school’s drama club.
“He was a talented young man,” said Kurt Knoedelseder, Matthew’s theater director, “It knocks the wind out of you.”
LCPL Clark was described by friends as a creative and intelligent young man. Matthew’s decision to join the Marine Corps after a few years at the University of Missouri, came as a surprise to a few friends.
“I couldn’t believe he was going to do it, but there was no stopping him, ” said Eden Newmark, who attended high school with him.
“He was probably the funniest guy I knew, ” Eden Newmark said. “He was the kind of person you stayed out with until 5 a.m. and didn’t even realize it was late.” He found his niche with the drama club.
Matthew distinguished himself as more conservative and religious than others in the drama environment. Growing up, he had always been interested in the military and chose the Marine Corps just as his father had, explained Msgr. Gardin.
Msgr. Gardin said Matthew attended Mass daily during leave. LCPL Clark had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was making plans for his life after military service. Matthew wanted to write, continue his education and study philosophy.