BUFFALO, KY, US
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, 3D BN, 6TH MAR, (RCT-7, MEB-A FWD) 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
02/21/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
When Lance Corporal Matthias Hanson joined the Marines in 2007, he was following a long family history of military service. His father had served in the Gulf War, his stepfather in Vietnam. His brother currently is serving in the Army. And the family has relatives who served in both World Wars.
But on Sunday, Hanson, a 20-year-old who formerly attended Greenville High School, became the first member of his family to be killed in combat when he was shot in Afghanistan, according to his uncle, Max Watts of Greenville.
Hanson joined the Marines out of high school, thinking, “‘OK, I’m going to show them. I’m going to be a Marine. I’m going to do them all better,'” Watts recalled. “He wanted to be the best. He wanted to show everybody he could be the best.”
In 2005, Hanson moved to Hodgenville, Ky., where he graduated from Larue County High School in 2008. His mother, Mary Huff, father, Lowell Hanson II, and sister, Megan Dohn, all live in Kentucky. His brother, Lowell Hanson III, who is stationed in Germany, is flying back for the funeral, which will be held in Kentucky. Hanson also has a handful of other relatives in West Michigan and Kentucky.
“He was just the most cheerful kid that you’d ever seen,” said his aunt, Jennifer Harding of Greenville. “He was always a big part of the family.”
The Reverend Norm Brock recalled Marine Lance Corporal Matthias Hanson’s personality and commitment to service during the soldier’s Feb. 27 funeral at LaRue County High School’s gymnasium.
Friends remembered Hanson, a 2008 graduate of LaRue County High School, as a football player, member of the Student Technology Association and someone with a sneaky grin that always seemed on the edge of laughter.