Monday, February 26, 2007

Matthew Bowe remembered

A young man from Moon who joined the Army upon graduating from high school with hopes of beginning a medical career was killed in Iraq Monday.

According to family members, Army medic Pvt. Matthew Bowe, 19, was killed with another American serviceman in a firefight about 30 miles north of Baghdad.

Lori Lynn Bowe said her son graduated from Moon Area High School in 2005, where he was a wide receiver on the football team, and immediately enlisted in the Army.

She said both of her son's grandfathers were military veterans, but Pvt. Bowe's motivations were more about his future than about his family's past.

"He wanted to go in the service, he wanted to be a doctor," Mrs. Bowe said. "He talked about it for years."

Mrs. Bowe, who runs Bowe's Family Day Care in Moon, said she had watched children for years, and her son took an interest in becoming a pediatrician. He spent time helping his younger brother and sisters with their homework and took child development classes in high school.

"He was a very good student. We never had a problem with him at school," Mrs. Bowe said. "All his teachers liked him and his football coaches loved him."

Mrs. Bowe said she had reservations about her son joining the military, but she could see how important it was to him.

He enlisted on July 5, 2005. After more than a year of training at Fort Benning, Ga., and in Texas and New York, Pvt. Bowe was deployed as a medic to Iraq in October. It was a dangerous assignment that he had difficulty discussing with his mother.

"He tried to smooth it over because I was always watching CNN and I'd always question him," she said. "And, of course, he's talking to Mom, so he'd candy-coat it and try to say everything was fine and he was good. He knows I'm emotional and I worry constantly. I'd pray constantly that he'd come home safe. But he'd tell his dad things.

"The only thing [negative] he'd say was that they didn't get much sleep, because they were going for 36-, 72-hour straight shifts. And he was a medic, so they were constantly busy."

Mrs. Bowe said that when her son first joined the Army, he'd phone home two or three times a week. Once he went to Iraq, the phone calls came less frequently.

"In Iraq, he would call once a week, usually on Sundays after the Steelers played," she said. "He would watch the games over there and talk to my husband and his brother and his sisters."

The last time they spoke, she said, was when he called to wish her a happy birthday on Dec. 27. After that, she said, his unit moved to another base, and the communications were limited to e-mails, the last one coming a week ago to wish his mother a happy Valentine's Day.

Pvt. Bowe had been scheduled to return home for a visit this month, but that trip was delayed.

"He was supposed to be home, but they kept bumping him out of his leave," Mrs. Bowe said. "He was supposed to be home right now, and they bumped him again. And now my son is dead."

In addition to enjoying hunting and fishing, Mrs. Bowe said, her son was an aspiring singer and songwriter.

"He was very talented," she said. "That's what he did for his senior project for school. And then he and a couple of his Army buddies cut three CDs while they were in New York and Texas."

Pvt. Bowe is survived by his mother and his father, John Bowe Sr.; four sisters, Melinda Shirey, Amanda Bowe, Megan Bowe and Tiffany Bowe; a brother, John Bowe Jr.; and a grandfather.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

From the Post Gazette

Related Link:
Matthew C. Bowe dies of injuries from I.E.D.