Injured Veterans Honor Injured Police Officer | Local News
Army veterans who were wounded in action came to Waseca on Tuesday to honor a policeman who was also injured in the line of duty.
âOfficer Matson’s service and sacrifice for Waseca and our community at large is inspiring,â Greg Moon said outside the Waseca County courthouse on Tuesday evening.
Moon and other military order officers from Minnesota’s Purple Heart Department thanked Waseca police officer Arik Matson, who was shot in the head in January 2020 by a wanted suspect.
âIt’s hard for most of us to know how officers respond to these calls, day after day and night after night,” Moon said. âBut we want you to know that we commend you for doing it. We cannot express how much we respect and admire Arik, his family and the Waseca community.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart Department is a veterans service organization made up of veterans who have received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. The organization also grants national first responder recognition to police and other first responders who are injured or killed in the line of duty.
âOur first responder program is an effort on our part to recognize the work, bravery and sacrifice of the men and women of law enforcement, fire and emergency services,â Moon said. .
Honor guards from Waseca VFW and Legion posts also helped honor Matson, as did attendees who included members of his family, colleagues from the Waseca Police Department, Waseca Town officials and other supporters.
After the brief ceremony, some of the Matson and supporters headed to another reunion to help plan a benefit for the Matson family on May 22 at the Waseca County Fairgrounds. Led by Waseca’s Sweet-Sommers VFW Post 1642 and Ray Rew of Triple R Auctioneering, the volunteers are relaunching their plans for a profit that Rew originally said was planned for March 2020 before the pandemic forced its postponement.
Permanent pandemic restrictions could limit the number allowed through the gates of the fairgrounds, but Rew said he and other organizers hoped the restrictions on outdoor events would be lifted before May 22.
Planned activities include live music, a car show, bingo, live and silent auctions, bake sale, food vendors, beer garden and fireworks. . The Matson family will be present for an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and deliver a speech at 6:30 p.m.
Free will donations will be accepted at the door. All of these donations along with the auction and other profits will go to the Matson family, Rew said.
Arik continues physical therapy and still has severe side effects from his brain injury. But he’s gradually resuming daily activities like going to the grocery store, according to posts on his wife Megan Matson’s Instagram page.
Last weekend, the family took their first mini-vacation to a water park. Megan admitted that she was worried in advance and that it was emotionally difficult to see other healthy and carefree families.
But she concluded, âAlthough life seems very different to us now. I look at my family and smile, take a deep breath, and find the positive in every situation to get me through my grieving moments. I’m grateful that we still have Arik with us to make memories. “