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Zelienople soldier who died in Afghanistan buried today

Army Pfc. Matthew W. Brown of Zelienople, who died of a gunshot wound May 11 while guarding prisoners in Afghanistan, was buried today in Zelienople.

“We come together in grief acknowledging a great human loss,” said the Rev. John K. Jefferis, pastor at Harmony-Zelienople United Methodist Church, where services were held this morning.

Brown’s paternal grandfather, Ron Brown, read from a Bible that was carried by a Civil War soldier.

“I told Matt the Bible would protect him. It didn’t,” Ron Brown said during an emotional service attended by about 200 people, some dressed in Hawaiian shirts as per Matthew Brown’s request that they dress “festive” at his funeral.

“Matt was full of life. He had the best outlook on life,” said Erik Wenzelburger, a longtime friend.

Brown, 20, enlisted in the Army in July 2006, a month after his graduation from Seneca Valley High School. Among those paying tribute to Brown yesterday was the junior ROTC unit from Seneca Valley.


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