|Spc Matthew A. Murchison
United States Army
KIA 04 August 2007
Memorial Page Established by- Heidi Perry-Hipp
In Honor Of Spc. Matthew M. Murchison
Matthew Michael Murchison, 21, son of Michael Murchison
of Independence, Mo., and. Deborah Shanahan of Kansas City, Mo., was
killed in action on Aug. 4, 2007, in Baghdad, Iraq.
Matthew was born in Hutchinson, Kan., on October 11,1985. Matt's family
lived in the Hutchinson area until 1990, when they moved to the
Stanley, Kan., area. Matt attended schools in the Blue Valley School District
until 1995 when Matt's family moved to the Olathe, Kan., where he
continued his schooling. Matt attended Indian Creek Elementary School,
Pioneer Trail Middle School and graduated from Olathe East High School in
2004. At Pioneer Trail and Olathe East Matt was active in football,
wrestling and mischief.
Matt's ambition all through high school was to join the military and to
eventually become a policeman. Matt was always loyal to his friends
and would do anything he had to do in their time of need.
In September 2005, Matt enlisted in the U.S. Army. Matt went through
basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was then stationed in
Hanau, Germany, from March 2006 until November 2006. In November 2006, Matt
was deployed to Iraq as a military policeman in the 127th MP Company,
720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade.
In April 2007 Matt came home on R&R and was able to see many of his
friends and relatives. Matt's maternal grandmother (Jane Perry) was dying
of cancer in Florida and Matt was able to visit her for the last time.
Jane Perry died June 6, 2007. She was so very proud of her grandson,
Matthew, and felt like she was letting him down by not being able to live
until he returned from Iraq. Little did we know she was clearing a
place in heaven for him with God.
Matt was killed at 2248-hrs Baghdad time on Aug. 4, 2007 by an IED
explosion. Two of Matt's best friends were with him and were injured. The
family feels comfort to know that Matt was doing what he wanted and was
with friends. We are also concerned for his injured friends and hope
God helps them to find peace and recover from their wounds.
Matt will receive the following honors posthumously: the Bronze Star
Medal, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service
Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army
Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge and was
promoted to the rank of Specialist.
Matthew is preceded in death by his grandparents, Robert Murchison,
Gordon Schanck and Jane Perry.
Other than his parents, Matt is survived by his loving sister, Melissa
of Overland Park, Kan. Matt's paternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs
Rayburn Wikle of Sabetha, Kan. His maternal grandparents are Ralph Perry
of Leesburg, Fla., and Audrey Schanck of Kansas City, Mo. Matt is
survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, and the funeral
services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at D.W. Newcomer's Sons,
Johnson County Chapel, 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, Kan. 66210.
A full military burial will immediately follow at Fort Leavenworth
National Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kan.
Honorary pallbearers are Jason Linder, Kenneth Ogalvie, Spc. Jason
Strickland, Spc. Joseph Moors, Sgt. Eric Wilkerson, and David Bellis.
The family asks that donations be made in SPC Matthew Murchison's name
A memorial Web site has been made by Matt's sister Melissa in Matthew's
honor. Please view and leave stories and memories that you may have of
Matthew at www.matthew-murchison.memory-of.com.
Sept 12, 2008
I went to high school with Matt. He was a super goofy
guy always making friends and I laugh. He was always kind to me.
November 23, 2007
Family pays tribute to hero’s life
Specialist Matthew Murchison makes ultimate sacrifice in Iraq
The Sabetha Herald
Matthew Michael Murchison, who was born in Hutchinson on Oct. 11, 1985,
always wanted to be a police officer, says his dad, Mike Murchison, a
Sabetha High School alumnus.
“When Matt was about five years old and I was a sheriff’s officer
in Hutchinson,” Mike said, “he said, ‘Dad, when you die, can I
have your badge?’”
While a student at Pioneer Trail Middle School and Olathe East High
School, Matt was “active in football, wrestling and mischief.”
During his high school years, Mike said, Matt had an interest in
joining the armed services and an ambition of becoming a policeman.
Following high school graduation in 2004, Matt had several jobs, but
nothing that really appealed to him, Mike said.
In August 2005, Matt decided to join the Army. When he told his dad, he
asked Mike not to get mad.
“We’ve completely supported him,” Mike said.
Matt enlisted in September 2005 and went through basic training at Fort
Leonard Wood, Mo.
Following training, in March 2006 he was assigned as a military
policeman with the 127th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police
Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, in Hanau, Germany.
In November 2006 Matt was deployed to Iraq with his unit.
At 10:48 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, Baghdad time, he was killed in
action by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Baghdad, Iraq.
Matt, the son of Michael Murchison of Independence, Mo., and Deborah
Shanahan of Kansas City, Mo., was 21 years old.
Two of his best friends were also injured in the explosion, and
Matt’s family remains concerned for those friends and hopes God helps them
to find peace and recover from their wounds.
The family appreciates the time they had with Matt during his too-brief
life and are comforted to know that Matt was doing what he wanted to
do with his life.
He was always loyal to his friends, family members said, and would do
anything for them in their time of need.
According to his unit friends in Hanau, Germany, he always went out of
his way to help people see the lighter side of life.
Matt’s former platoon mate, Sgt. Kenneth Gibson, who was wounded in
action in January, said Matt was a comedian and self-professed redneck
and “could take the most stressful situation and turn it into a
During a memorial service held in Matt’s memory in Germany, a tribute
about him was read on behalf of Sgt. Richard Havens, who couldn’t
attend the service. Matt was Havens’ gunner.
Havens said Matt had come a long way since his arrival in Hanau in
early 2006, when he was “a little unsure of himself.”
While teaching Matt about soldiering, Havens said, Matt unknowingly
taught Havens “about being a better friend and a better leader.”
Following Matt’s death, his mother, Debbie, sent the following poem,
author unidentified, to Matt’s dad Mike. At the age of 14, Mike had
lost his own dad, Robert Murchison.
Debbie told Mike, “The poem says it all.”
As a son I lost a father,
As a father, I lost a son
If the choice was mine, I'd rather
Had not lost either one.
I do not know where I come from
Or where I am to go
True, this fate is less than some
And more than some can know.
My father, my son – you both I miss
But we shall meet someday
In the kingdom where angels kiss
To chase the clouds away.
Matt’s sister and only sibling, Melissa Murchison of Overland Park,
has created a memorial website in Matt’s honor.
In a letter to Matt on the website, Melissa wrote, “The thought of
even reading this at your funeral is still something that I cannot
fathom. I’ve come to peace with the fact that you’re gone, but I still
don’t want to think it’s real.
“I couldn’t wait for the day that we could pick you up at the
airport after so many months at war. I never could’ve imagined that we
would have to pick you up this way. Now it’s your turn to pick us up and
carry us through this time. The only thing that keeps me going through
these days is to know that your arms are wrapped around me, helping me
along the way.”
Acknowledging that Matt was fulfilling his life’s dream, Melissa
continued, “My mind is constantly consumed with thoughts of what you
felt, what kind of soldier you were, and how happy you were. As much as we
all worried about you joining the Army, we still let you do it,
’cause it was what you’ve wanted since you were a little boy.
“You wanted to be like Dad, and you chose the Army to help you along
the way. I know it was what you loved and I know how proud you were of
what you were doing.
“Please know that your own pride doesn’t even equal a fraction of
the pride we all feel for you.... You always did say you were a hero.
Well, Matt, you sure are a hero, and not only to me, but to so many other
Expressing her faith in God and her belief in eternal life, Melissa
wrote, “I can’t be sad anymore because I know you’re in eternal
happiness now. You feel no pain, and that thought alone helps me get up
every morning. I know you’ve given me the strength to handle this and
help mom and dad through.
“Just please remember to continue to give me this strength and watch
over us all. You died doing your job, risking your life for a country
full of people, many of who will never be grateful.
“Just know that there are so many more who are grateful, not only for
your sacrifice but just for having you in their lives. I love you more
than I will ever love anyone, Matt, and the emptiness in my heart will
In their comments on the website, many family members, unit members,
friends, parents of service members who were killed in action, and
strangers echoed Melissa’s sentiments of love, pride and heroism.
Lee Cliborne, a soldier who served in Iraq with Matt, wrote, “...it
was an honor to walk in the shadow of the valley of death with Matt, one
of the bravest soldiers I’ve ever known.... He was a very family
oriented guy, which is an outstanding quality to have in a friend. So,
Matt, my fellow brother in arms, I will meet up with you again, my
Tami Nelson, a Gold Star Mother, wrote, “...I lost my son on
Christmas Day last year and I just try to keep remembering how much Andrew
wanted to be a soldier and how he died doing what he wanted to do. It
sounds like Matthew did too. Keep the memories of your son alive and he will
always be right there with you.”
Many offered prayers, spiritual uplifting, and positive memories that
remind readers that Matt had a sense of humor and a big heart.
“Everything has a reason,” said his dad Mike.
“I just hope I can make a difference in the world like you did,”
Mike commented to Matt on the website. “You affected everyone who ever
While in Kansas City to speak at the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Convention last Wednesday, President George W. Bush had a private meeting with
Matt’s parents, Mike and Debbie, and his sister, Melissa, along with
other Gold Star Families.
“This really overwhelmed us when we got a call from the White House
requesting a meeting,” Mike said. “Quite an honor. I can hear Matt
saying, ‘See, I told you I was the family Hero!’”
“There were 10 families involved,” Mike said. “We were divided
into groups of three to four families. We got to talk to President Bush
for about 30 minutes. No politics involved, just about our loved ones
that we have lost.
“We laughed and cried (he did too) and just told him about our loved
ones. I was really impressed by his concern for us and our loss. I
think we all came away with a different perspective about him.
“I gave him a prayer card with Matt’s picture on one side and the
Soldier’s Prayer on the other. All the time we were talking about
Matt, he was looking at the picture with damp eyes.... Quite a moving
Matt posthumously received several military awards, including the
Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal, and was promoted to the rank of
Mr. and Mrs. Rayburn Wikle of Sabetha are Matt’s paternal
Funeral services were held in Overland Park, with burial at Fort
Leavenworth National Cemetery. Patriot Guard Riders were present to show
their support of and provide a shield for the family.
In addition to the service held for SPC Murchison at his home base in
Germany, a memorial service was held at his deployment base in Iraq.
Readers are invited to view Melissa Murchison’s website and leave
appropriate comments, tributes, condolences and memories at
The family requests that any memorial donations be made in SPC Matthew
Murchison’s name to the Fisher House™ Foundation, at
The Fisher House™ program is a unique private-public partnership that
supports America's military and families in their time of need.
Meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the
Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the program recognizes the
special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of
Members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and
often must travel great distances for specialized medical care, and
Fisher House™ Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds
of major military and VA medical centers.
These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the
most stressful times – during hospitalization for an unexpected illness,
disease or injury.
More information about the Fisher House™ Foundation is available on
the above website.