On Wednesday afternoon many of us lined highways 17 and 144 to honor the homecoming of Capt. Matt Freeman. It was a homecoming that brought emotions of grief and pain for his family and those of us who lined the highways. Beyond that was a feeling of pride in our hometown hero who made the ultimate sacrifice of his life for our freedoms and the American way of life. There was also a sense of pride in seeing such large numbers lining the way to the funeral home.
Those of us who served in one of the branches of our military remember the oath we took and that Matt also took, "I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign or domestic..." Matt gave his life in obedience to that oath.
We hear Matt described as a patriot and a hero. The term patriot is defined as a person who loves and loyally supports his country. Matt was a true patriot and that patriotism was put to the test and he gave all. Matt was the embodiment of the Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis" -Always Faithful.
The term hero is a term that express’s "Admiration for bravery, great deeds or noble service". Matt exhibited all the attributes of a hero to his hometown and all America.
Finally the phrase, "the ultimate sacrifice," the giving of one’s life for a cause greater than self. The word sacrifice in it’s simplest form is the giving up of something of value in exchange for something of greater value. Matt made that sacrifice and his mom and dad, Lisa and Gary, his wife Theresa, his sisters Ginny and Marybeth and other family members participated in that sacrifice as well. The Freeman family is an inspiration to all of us with three generations of military service to our country.
Our heartfelt sympathy and gratitude goes out to his family who we all love and are so justly proud to have as a part of our community.
Jimmy Burnsed, Chairman Bryan County Board of Commissioners