Grandview Community Comes Together to Remember Local Soldier - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Grandview Community Comes Together to Remember Local Soldier

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GRANDVIEW, Wash. - A local soldier is laid to rest.  Army Specialist Matt Emerson has been buried with full honors at Prosser Cemetery.

One thing heard many times at Emerson's funeral Tuesday were the words "Thank You."  His friends and family expressed their gratitude to a community that's been supporting them since Matt's death, just a week ago.

Emerson was remembered as a son, brother, cousin and friend, and he was honored as a soldier.

His cousin, Donnie Olmstead, spoke first at the funeral, saying, "Although there are a lot of things in life that Matt didn't get to experience, he was living his dream.  Thank you for giving him that honor."

Everyone who spoke talked of Matt's dream, to join the U.S. Army.  It started when he was young, his cousin said, when he'd play Army games in the backyard and draw pictures of soldiers and tanks.

But sadly, it ended last week in Iraq, when the Humvee Matt was riding in rolled, and he was killed.  His uncle remembered something Matt said, when they were talking about him enlisting.

"When asked about the dangers involved, he would say, he could think of no bigger honor than to die for his country."   says Lou Rabe.

A fellow soldier and friend talked about Matt's belief in the Iraq war.  He wanted to be in Mosul. He felt he was helping free people from oppression.

"He understood what he was really fighting for." says Major Randy Schliep.  "And it was something much larger, and even more unselfish, than simply serving his country in a time of crisis."