This is the completed mission report for the interment of Warrant Officer Jason Matson on Monday, December 12, 2011 at the Mn Veterans Cemetery at Little Falls. Jason served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the USArmy and had served more than 20 years in the military. Jason was diagnosed with cancer six weeks ago and passed away at Fort Drum New York at the age of 56.
With a couple of members that arrived a little late we had 24 members show up on this Monday morning. It appeared to me that everyone that showed up today was at the cemetery 2 days ago to place the almost 3000 wreaths in front of virtually every marker at the cemetery. Truly a dedicated group. It was great watching the interaction of the members at the staging as everyone seemed to know everyone and to an outsider I am sure it would have looked like a family gathering. I guess that patriotism really is the glue that holds all of us together.
Jason was given full military honors by the Color Guard and by the military. His family told us they were overwhelmed at the funerals they attended where the MNPGR was present and were so grateful that this time we were able to be there for them as Jason's illness took him so quickly and they were having a very difficult time of it. As usual many family members thanked us for being there but the most emotional for all of us was when Jason's wife went down the entire flagline to thank us while still carrying the US Flag given to her by the military
We were asked by the family to line up around the room where the service took place so we could be part of the family and because the family felt some security by our presence. After the service we formed two flag-lines to make an opening for family members to release doves. Some members had not seen that done before but we have been seeing that frequently lately. After the family left we debriefed at the Canteen.
RCIC James Parent