Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Matthew Medlicott laid to rest

On the long flight to Iraq, Lance Cpl. Matthew Sauer Medlicott told his fellow Marines that it was his job to make sure they made it safely home.

" 'If I come home, then I did a little extra,' " Marine Sgt. Nicholas Sauer Medlicott quoted his younger brother during a memorial service Tuesday.

The younger Medlicott, of Houston, was killed Aug. 25 in Saqlawiyah, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device while he was on foot patrol.

The 21-year-old was just three weeks into his second tour in Iraq.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He joined the Marines right after he graduated from Spring Woods High School in 2005.

Medlicott's death brings to 89 the number of troops with ties to the Houston area who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"If not for this," Nicholas Medlicott said during his eulogy at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons' chapel, "we would've never known how many lives you touched or the people you have loved. We are better people for knowing and loving Matt."

Nicholas Medlicott said his brother had always wanted to become an infantryman and that he deeply believed in what he was doing in Iraq.

"He felt he was helping people," he said.

As he concluded, Nicholas Medlicott gazed toward his brother's coffin and said, "We're proud you're a Marine ... and we love you."

Matthew Sauer Medlicott was buried in his Marine uniform.

Poster-sized photos of him with his family and others ringed the inside of the chapel alongside lush bouquets of flowers. A string ensemble and pianist played America the Beautiful and The Marines' Hymn.

The Rev. Thomas Hill, who officiated the memorial service, began the ceremony by saying: "Matthew's life speaks for itself."

Medlicott grew a lot in 21 years, turning his life around at one point after falling in with the wrong crowd, Hill said.

"What a gift to be able to turn around from nonsense to sense," Hill said. "He altered his course and came back."

Hill said Medlicott explored other religions and had planned to share a home, surrounded by a white-picket fence, with his girlfriend, Brittani Mulherin. The pair had intended to raise many children, he added.

In his will, Medlicott left instructions with his family that he did not want a formal funeral service should he die in Iraq, Hill said. He did not want to be remembered with "empty-headed jargon" or have anyone offer a "weak" explanation about his death. He also made sure that life insurance money would be set aside to start college funds for his sister and a nephew.

"He lived and died with a cause, a purpose, with meaning," Hill said. "He's home now and we can be thankful of him."

Medlicott was buried at the Houston National Cemetery.

From the Houston Chronicle

Related Link:
Matthew Medlicott remembered by family

Related Link:
Matthew S. Medlicott dies 'from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations'