Two named parade grand marshals.


Byline: Donna Boynton

WESTBORO - A Vietnam War veteran and a highly decorated State Department special agent killed in Iraq six years ago have been named grand marshals of the Memorial Day ceremonies.

Ceremonies will begin Monday at 8:30 a.m. at St. Luke's Cemetery followed by another service at Pine Grove Cemetery at 9 a.m. From Pine Grove, the parade will march down South Street to Midland Cemetery and then to the Forbes Municipal Building and war memorials.

John Jacob Leonard Matson and Stephen Eric Sullivan were announced this week as the annual parade's grand marshals.

The honor is given posthumously to Mr. Sullivan, a Westboro native who was killed in a car bombing in Iraq in September 2005. Mr. Sullivan will be represented by his family in the parade.

Mr. Sullivan was a 1983 graduate of Westboro High School and he joined the U.S. Marines in 1984, where he was trained as a field radio operator. In 1993 he joined the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman and became an emergency medical technician. He served as assistant to the head of medicine at San Diego's Naval Medical Center.

After earning a master's degree in forensic science from National University in La Jolla, Calif., in 2000, he joined diplomatic security at the State Department and was assigned to the Miami field office.

In 2004, he was awarded the State Department's Extra Mile Award for his role in apprehending two career criminals, and later that year volunteered to go to Afghanistan, where he was again honored for his work as a lead advance agent for the protective details during that country's presidential elections and he served as shift leader during the inauguration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Mr. Sullivan went to Iraq in 2005 after a brief visit to Washington D.C. and Westboro. He was working a protective detail when he and three private security agents were killed when a car bomb exploded.

Mr. Sullivan has posthumously been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service, the...

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