Six JROTC cadets received a scholarship named after local hero Cpl. Matt Dillon. (May 5, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
Thursday, May 5, 2011
AIKEN, S.C.---A local hero who gave his life for the United States of America continues to help young people even though he's now gone.
Six Junior ROTC cadets, one from each Aiken County high school, has received a $1,000 award from the Corporal Matt Dillon Scholarship.
Marine Cpl. Dillon was killed in Iraq in 2006.
One of the cadets, Rebecah McManus, was one of the first young marines in a program the 939 Marine Corp League supported. Plus she won second place in the 2011 YMCA Armed Services Essay Contest. The essay category was "My Military Hero" and she wrote about Cpl. Dillon.
"He was everything a soldier could be and more and I hope that I can be half of what he was in my future," said Rebecah McManus who goes to South Aiken High School.
"They (Dillon Family) have just touched my life pretty much throughout the whole growing process of going through high school and everything," McManus added.
She has been invited to Washington, DC on May 12 for the ceremony.
Cpl. Dillon served two tours in Iraq, one in the Army National Guard then later in the Marines. He died in combat in Iraq on December 11, 2006.
News 12 asked Neal Dillon, Cpl. Matt Dillon's father, how he felt about the death of Osama bin Laden.
"We're glad Osama bin Laden is gone. We don't necessarily rejoice in his leaving, but there was justice done. After all it was Al-Qaeda that killed our son and he was head of Al-Qaeda. We're happy justice has been done," said Neal Dillon.
The Dillon family plan to have fundraisers every year to continue this scholarship.
"We're here really to honor the cadets more than anything else," Dillon said.