Blood Drive Honors Fallen Soldier

Blood Drive Honors Fallen Soldier

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Alex Cabrero Reporting“We wanted to have something positive come out of the life he lived.”

Blood drives happen all the time, but this one meant a lot more. It was an honor of life for one soldier who lost his last month. Matthew Smith of Lehi died in a helicopter crash in Iraq. Today his family helped put on a blood drive to help give life to others.

There are several ways to honor those who've given their lives in war. A blood drive just seems to be appropriate -- giving life even when dealing with death.

Colleen Parkin has given blood before, but this time is one that means a whole lot more.

Colleen Parkin, Matthew's Mom: “I told him I'd be strong if anything happened. I'm trying.”

It's not easy trying to cope with your son's death, especially if he died at war. Marine Corporal Matthew Smith was killed when his helicopter crashed last month in Iraq. His family figured, what better way to honor him than with a blood drive to give life to others.

Gary Smith, Matthew's Father: “That's exactly what we felt. We wanted to have something positive come out of the life he lived.”

Even the squeeze ball was patriotic.

Chester Grimm, West Valley: “I think it's really cool because it's neat to do something in his honor.”

Susan Parkin, Holladay: “Oh it's just heart-wrenching. They're so many sacrifices they give up, you know?”

Which is why a little pinch and needle wasn't that much of a sacrifice, especially after what Matthew gave up.

Colleen Parkin: “We're so proud of him and he wore his uniform with pride.”

Gary Smith: “We're proud of him. We love him and we'll miss him.”

Smith's father and mother will be heading to Hawaii next week, courtesy of the Marines, for a memorial service in Matthew's name.

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