Letter to the Editor

Soldier's family expresses appreciation

Friday, March 2, 2007

Dear Editor,

Randy came into our lives June 9, 1986. He was a high stepper right from the start. As soon as he could get around, he was into everything in sight.

When he started walking nothing was out of his reach; climbing on everything and anything, the higher the better. As soon as he learned to ride a bicycle, he would set up ramps and jump over them. He fell out of the hay mow at his grandparents' farm and broke his forearm. Not long after the cast came off, he fell off some jungle bars and broke his other forearm.

He really liked to spend his summers riding in semis. He liked the chemical trucks a lot, but he loved cow trucks more. They went faster, had a lot of black smoke and he enjoyed the bunk beds. When he was 12, he bought his first motorcycle. He rode every chance he could. It would go faster than all the bicycles he broke up doing jumps and was not near as much work.

School was something he did because he had to. It took up a lot of his time that he could have used being a daredevil and going fast. He always told me he was addicted to speed and scary movies because of the adrenaline rush.

After school he joined the Nebraska National Guard; probably to follow in his big sister Karen's "footsteps."

They were in the same unit. Then he bought his crotch-rocket with more speed and a much bigger adrenaline rush. He would ride in 20-degree weather just to feel the freedom and power. He bought an electric guitar and would listen to his favorite music and learn how to play it. He actually got very good with practice not long before he was deployed. He met a wonderful young Courteney.

They stole each others' hearts as she did with the rest of his family. They did not have a long time together as he soon went to Iraq. They e-mailed all the time. He called her so much on the phone he soon became known as M9090 because he put so much money on his phone card.

Paul, his older brother, went into the Army instead of the National Guard so he could be a full-time soldier. They all were doing their part, and very much more. For all of us who stayed home to take care of things, they were doing what they felt they needed to do for this great country.

I know all of his friends and buddies have a lot of great memories of cruising around town in his Cadillac and going to the lake or just hanging out. All of us have so many really wonderful memories, he will live on forever in our hearts and minds. We all love and miss you buddy. Over the years and decades, we will all be together again.

I don't know why you were taken away so soon, but there must be some reason we don't know about yet. We all love you.

The family of Sgt. Randy J. Matheny would like to send a heartfelt THANK YOU to the Carpenter-Breland Funeral Home for taking such good rare of Randy, the City of McCook for the use of the auditorium and the street cleanup around our homes; the Nebraska State Patrol, the McCook Police Department and the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office for their support and protection before, during and after Randy's service; the Patriot Guard for their dedication to our military families in McCook and across the United States; the Nebraska National Guard Family Support Group for their complete and total generosity during our time of grief; to the various other organizations, local businesses and all area citizens for providing accommodations, food, flowers, cards, memorials, phone calls, visits, thoughts and prayers for our family. A special thank you to Sgt. 1st Class Barry Read and Sgt. 1st Clas Megan Bowers for being with us from the beginning. The total community support was so greatly appreciated and will forever be in our hearts and memories.

The family of Randy Jay Matheny

-- Memorials may be mailed to the Randy Matheny memorial fund at Union Bank in McCook. The family will decide how the funds will be used when Karen returns from Iraq.

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