Irish man remembering his US Marine son is angry over reasons for Iraq War
New Jersey hometown honors Matthew Fenton who died of his injuries in 2006
Speaking to NJ.com after his death, his family and friends spoke about Matthew’s drive and his lifelong ambition to serve his country.
His mother Diane said, “He always liked playing with toy guns…He wanted to be a Marine because he wanted to be the best.
"That's what made him Matthew," she said. "He volunteered to go…He wanted to be with the other Marines."
Matthew’s father, John, was born in Cork City but moved to the United States when he was just two. In 2008 he came home to Cork as he found it too difficult to return to his position as a clerk in the US postal service following his son’s death.
After his son’s death, John lobbied his local Congressman to have a federal building named after his son. Once the campaign got started he handed it over to some of Matthew’s friends and left for Ireland.
This week John heard the good news. He told the Examiner, “I have an email alert set up to tell me whenever he is mentioned in news articles, and I got a message on Tuesday to tell me President Obama had signed the bill into law.”
Steve Rothman, the New Jersey congressman who sponsored the bill called Matthew a true American hero and hopes “the post office will stand as a testament to his bravery and sacrifice”.
The post office will now be renamed the Sergeant Matthew J Fenton Post Office this spring or summer.
"My son would have been 30 on January 17. That will be tough. It’s good that he will be remembered for a long time, every parent who loses a child wants them to be remembered,” said John.
The grieving father attends meetings with Anam Cara, a group for bereaved parents, in Cork. Although he is still angry, and dealing with the loss of his son, he believes he’s making progress.
“They say that time heals and for the first time I think it’s true. If you asked me this time last year, I probably wouldn’t have agreed but although things will never be the same, my head is clearing and there is progress."
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