Cpl. Matthew Hanes of Manchester Twp. remembered as determined, gracious
It will now be known as the Matthew Hanes Memorial Ride.
The proceeds from the charitable event, which for the past three years had benefited its namesake, now will go to a scholarship for students interested in ROTC.
"It's what he would've wanted," said Bob Salter, president of Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club. "Always a gracious guy. He will be missed -- he was family."
Hanes, an Army veteran from East Manchester Township, died Friday, just over three years after he was wounded while serving in Afghanistan. He was 24.
The corporal was shot while on patrol in June 2012, shattering two of his vertebrae and paralyzing him from the chest down.
His life ended last week after a blood clot stopped his heart, Salter confirmed.
"He's a gracious man and family member," Salter said. "He will be missed in so many ways."
Hanes graduated from Northeastern High School in 2010. The mission he was on when he was shot had been slated to be his last before returning from Afghanistan.
When he did come back stateside, he had to spend the better part of a year at two different military hospitals before he finally was able to return home to York County. Salter said his group, whose mission is to help vets, met him at the airport to welcome him back.
Hanes was soon a full member of the organization.
"When we learned Matthew's father was trying to raise money to help with his son's need, we knew we had to do something," he said.
The organization helped raise money and donated time to help build an addition onto Hanes' home. Third-grade students who also wrote letters to Hanes chipped in some of their time to help out on that venture. In addition, local businesses provided equipment to make the house easier for him to navigate in his wheelchair.
Soon after he returned to the U.S., Hanes began researching stem-cell therapy as possible treatment, and he eventually went to to China in April 2014 to undergo surgery to repair part of his damaged spinal cord. Last summer he said he'd begun to start feeling some positive effects from it.
Salter said his organization will continue to raise funds and assist with the ride.
He described Hanes as both kindhearted and determined.
"Over the years we became a family," Salter said. "I am honored to have known such a hero."