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Army Spc. Matthew M. Pollini

Died January 22, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Rockland Mass.; was assigned to the 772nd Military Police Company, Massachusetts Army National Guard, Taunton, Mass.; died Jan. 22 at Forward Operating Base Delta, near al-Kut, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover.

‘We had lots of plans,’ widow says

The Associated Press

ROCKLAND, Mass. — Rockland is mourning a soldier family members say has died in Iraq.

Twenty-one-year-old Pfc. Matthew Pollini was serving with the 772nd Military Police Company, an Army National Guard unit from Taunton. Flags flew at half-staff in Rockland and the town posted a memorial notice.

Erica Pollini told The Patriot Ledger of Quincy her brother “was a talented, loyal person” who joined the National Guard two or three years ago. She said his unit was activated last fall and he was due home in October. Joseph Pollini told WBZ-TV his older brother “was a hero, a hands-down hero,” and said he followed his brother into the same Guard unit, a dream of service they shared.

Pollini’s 20-year-old wife Sarah, whom he married Dec. 22, told The Patriot Ledger, “we had lots of plans.”

Funeral for Rockland soldier scheduled

The Associated Press

ROCKLAND, Mass. — A soldier from Rockland who died in Iraq last week will soon be laid to rest.

The funeral for Spc. Matthew Pollini will be held Feb. 2.

The Enterprise of Brockton reports that students from some of the town’s schools will stand along the route as a horse-drawn caisson followed by Pollini’s family makes its way down Union Street to Holy Family church.

Members of the National Guard’s 772nd Military Police Company, Pollini’s unit, will march with the casket.

A wake for Pollini will be held Sunday at Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home in Rockland.

The 21-year-old Pollini got married last month just days before he shipped out to Iraq. He died when the vehicle he was in rolled over.

Soldier remembered as fun-loving ‘goofball’ by family

The Associated Press

Erica and Joseph Pollini laughed and cried as they talked about their brother, Matthew M. Pollini. They said he was fun-loving, a “goofball” who liked to make people laugh. “We want the world to know he was a great person,” Erica said. “He still is a person to me.”

Pollini, 21, of Rockland, Mass., died Jan. 22 near al-Kut of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over. He joined the Army National Guard in 2005 and was assigned to Taunton, Mass.

He and his wife, Sarah, were married Dec. 22 in a small ceremony in his parents’ living room. Matthew left Dec. 26 for a 10-month tour of duty.

“He was a really loyal, trusting person. He always wanted to help people. He was always there to help people. He was always cracking jokes and laughing. He really was the most honest person I ever met,” said his wife.

In October, when Matthew was due back in Rockland, he planned to take his wife on a “mini honeymoon” to Cape Cod. They planned to renew their wedding vows and have their “dream wedding” in 2012.

“He would do anything for me. He was always there for me,” said a brother Joseph Pollini, 17.

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