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Shoals field dedicated to fallen Marine CPL. Matthew Conley

Matthew Conley's family worked for three years to raise the money for the memorial.

Posted: Sep 13, 2019 5:26 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2019 7:18 PM

A fallen Marine out of the Shoals is having a field named after him and a memorial to honor all veterans.

CPL. Matthew Conley died in the line of duty in 2006 in Iraq. His small town of Greenhill in Lauderdale County never forgot his sacrifice.

"It is awesome that the community and Dixie youth is remembering Matthew," said Debbie Conley, his mother.

This project would have cost the Conley family about $40,000. Instead, they raised $20,000 and the rest of the material and work was donated by the Shoals community and those who knew Matthew.

The memorial is right at the entrance to the field. Concrete pillars and flags represent every branch of the military with names of veterans from Lauderdale County.

Iron Workers 477 out of Sheffield built the iron fence that stretches the length of the entrance. A fellow Marine who served with Matthew donated the archway bearing his name as you enter the complex.

"He thought so much of Matthew and his family that he gave us the money for it," said Debbie Conley.

Her favorite part is a plaque at the concession stand telling future generations why this field is named after him and his sacrifice. It tells his story.

"I'm beyond proud," said Conley. "His name will be there forever and people drive by. I hope that the children that come here and play ball see his name and know what he did."

The CPL. Matthew Conley softball tournament will happen Saturday at 8 a.m. That tournament will be played on the field that’s now named after CPL. Matthew Conley. All money raised in the tournament will go to paying off the cost of the memorial and they plan on starting a scholarship soon in Matthew Conley's name.

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