Thursday, February 15, 2007

Matthew P. Pathenos killed conducting combat operations

He was from Ballwin and a Parkway South High graduate.

A Marine Corps reservist from Ballwin has been killed in Iraq, his family said.

The reservist is Lance Cpl. Matthew Pathenos, 20, a 2003 graduate of Parkway South High School. He died in Fallujah on Wednesday, the family said in a statement issued through the Marine Corps Reserve.

"Like his brother, Christopher, he was proud to be a Marine and volunteered to serve his country. Matthew paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and the future generations of this country. He loved his country and family, and we will miss him terribly. Advertisement

"The family asks that their privacy be respected during their time of grief. Services will be held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, date and time to be announced."

Pathenos belonged to the 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines, which has its headquarters and service company at Lambert Field. He was in Iraq with a sister unit, the Detroit-based 1st Battalion, 24th Marines.

Last spring, the Lambert unit tabbed about 80 members to fill vacancies in the Detroit unit before it deployed to Iraq. About 50 were reservists who, like Pathenos, had missed the local battalion's deployment to Iraq in 2004. The rest volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq.

The 80 left here on April 29 for Camp Pendleton, Calif., for training before moving on to Iraq.

The Detroit unit arrived in Iraq in early June and has almost wrapped up its seven-month stint in Iraq.

The Rev. Douglas Papulis said the family are longtime members of the church.

"It's a real good solid family," he said. "They're just good people."

Papulis said Christopher Pathenos served two tours in Iraq, while Matthew was completing his first.

"They just did their duty," he said. "This is just such a tragedy."

From the Post Dispatch