Friday, June 01, 2007

Corporal Matthew McCully at Rest

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cpl Matthew McCully's family and friends both here and in Afghanistan. Our hearts ache and we grieve with you.
God Bless you Matthew and thank you for all you have done for your country
and the people of Afghanistan. You will always be remembered.
Cpl. Kyle Powell (centre) walks solemly from the church following his comrade's funeral.
Powell was with Orangeville's Cpl. Matthew McCully when he died in Afghanistan last week.
About 1000 people attended a funeral service for the "polite, courteous, respectful and loving" Corporal Matthew J. McCully of Canadian Forces' 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 11:00 am at Tweedsmuir Memorial Presbyterian Church. , 6 John St, Orangeville. Speakers were set up outside the church so an overflow crowd in a legion parking lot across the road could hear the service.

Matthew died while serving his country in Afghanistan, on Friday, May 25, 2007 in his 26th year. To his family - mother and dad Valerie McGrady and Ron McCully, step-dad Neal Weise, sister and brother Shannon and Daniel, little nephew Joshua, step brothers Joseph, Bailey and Jordan, and grandparents John Perozick and the late Robert and Karen McCully, he was remembered as the outdoorsy, red-haired boy. He loved fishing, hiking and camping.
Eight members of McCully's squadron carried his casket into the church, escorted by Cpl. Kyle Powell, who was in the field with McCully when his life was taken and brought his remains home.
To his fellow soldiers, he was remembered as responsible and dutiful.
These family groups: both friends and relatives, and military family in Matthew McCully’s life came together yesterday for the funeral of the communications specialist who died in Afghanistan last Friday. He was killed when a landmine exploded.
Those in attendance, both inside and outside the church, heard stories of how McCully would spend hours making sure his combat uniform was just right for inspection and how, as a child, he was eager to share the knowledge he learned as a member of the Scouts.
“He was one of those kids you just trusted,” his aunt Brenda Freer said in the eulogy.
"He was a fun-loving young man, who had a little smirk and a twinkle in his eye.... Matthew joined Boy Scouts and he would try to teach his siblings and cousins what he had learned about surviving in the wilderness. He was a natural teacher -- extremely patient for his years.
When I found out he was training soldiers in the Afghan army, I knew he'd be awesome at it.
Matthew was trilingual. He spoke English, a little French and army," she said. "On behalf of our family, I want you soldiers to know we will continue to think of you, support you and pray for you."
"It was a long journey from Orangeville to Afghanistan for Cpl. Matthew McCully, and it was a long journey back home" Mjr. Doug Friesen said during yesterday's funeral service for the fallen soldier. "Along the way, Cpl. Matthew McCully had some amazing adventures. He saw some very interesting places and he made some wonderful friends," commented the chaplain from CFB Petawawa, where McCully was based. "Matthew spent part of his precious life walking with the people of Afghanistan on their long journey to a better life."
As stories of McCully's life were shared, many in the pews sniffled and tried to hold back tears -- wiping them away in virtual silence. "We come together today as one; one community, one family, one nation in mourning," commented Rev. Harvey Self, who officiated the service with Friesen. "We come to honour one of our own, here in Matthew's home town of Orangeville. To honour a brother in arms, a son, brother and nephew."

“He had the ability to bring out the best as a soldier and a friend,” said Corporal Sandy Gauthier, from the Second Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Petawawa, who also eulogized McCully. He told of how McCully would take car keys away from friends who were going out for a night of drinking and carousing. And always made sure his uniform was neat and presentable, Gauthier said.
"Matthew gave this country the ultimate sacrifice anybody could give.... What Matt was doing was what he believed was best for his country and family," Cpl. Gauthier said in his eulogy. Gauthier served with McCully and was a close friend outside of their duties. "He was a brother to all of us. There are two types of people in the military; those who need the military and those who the military needs. Matt was what the Canadian Forces needed," Gauthier said. "He will be missed and never forgotten. Welcome home brother."

Following the service, family, friends and military representatives laid the soldier to rest during a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Orangeville. A gathering for the public was hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion, across the street from where the funeral service took place.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to Scouts Canada would be appreciated by the family.

To send condolences to Matthew McCully's family, simply click the button below :

A tree will be planted in memory of Matthew in the Dods & McNair Memorial Forest at the Island Lake Conservation Area, Orangeville. A dedication service will be held on Sunday, September 9th, 2007 at 2:30 p.m.

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