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Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown

Died May 11, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

20, of Zelienople, Pa.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; died May 11 in Asadabad, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident.

Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown remembered

The Associated Press

Relatives and friends honored Matthew W. Brown’s wish that they dress “festive” for his funeral and wore colorful shirts.

“I couldn’t ask for a better friend. He also had a great sense of humor. That’s why we’re wearing these shirts,” said Erik Wenzelburger, a longtime friend who spoke at the service.

Brown, 20, of Zelienople, Pa., died May 11 in Asadabad, Afghanistan, of injuries from a non-combat-related incident. He was a 2006 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

“My son was probably one of the most decent people I have had the privilege to know,” said his father, James Brown. “He told me he joined the service because he wanted to help people.”

The last time Brown was home, he gathered a group of friends for a touch football game, writing a list of plays on his wrist band and wearing black tape under his eyes, said Allison Chandler, a friend.

“Matt was full of life. He had the best outlook on life,” Wenzelburger said.

“We all have a little edginess in us, but he had no stitch of meanness in him,” said his grandfather, Ron Brown.

He also is survived by his mother, Sandy Evans.

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