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Matthews Truly Understands Memorial Day

Posted May 28, 2012

Children of military parents have a different take about Memorial Day than others and Miami Dolphins rookie wide receiver Rishard Matthews is no different.

Like veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll and veteran defensive tackle Randy Starks, Matthews comes from a military background and is proud of it. His father, Andre, is a retired United States Marine Corps master sergeant and Matthews credits his upbringing with turning him into the young man and accomplished athlete he has become.

“He started off as a drill instructor and every time I went to work everybody called him ‘Top’ and that’s all I knew,” Matthews said. “I was young and everybody respected him so that definitely was good.”

Discipline and respect are two of the most important principles taught in the military, so it’s only natural that military parents pass those onto their children. Hearing Matthews speak is similar to hearing Carroll and Starks speak as he adds the moniker “sir” to the end of his sentences when addressing you. Like Carroll and Starks, he is humble and does not show a hint of ego.

Matthews is part of a generation that is familiar with war, as the United States has twice been involved in conflict in the Middle East in the last three decades. So he is well aware of the significance and the message that needs to be remembered on this day.

“I’ve got a lot of friends whose parents are in the military and I’ve got a lot of friends who are in the military so there is definitely a respect for them and what they do for us and this country,” said Matthews, who is looking to capitalize on a stellar 2011 season at Nevada when he caught 91 passes for 1,364 yards and eight touchdowns. “It was instilled me at an early age that when you meet people it’s with a ‘yes, sir, yes, ma’am or no, ma’am.’ That’s definitely built into as you’re growing up and you just earn respect for other human beings and for living in general.”

As a seventh-round draft pick, Matthews is focused on earning the respect of his Dolphins teammates and most importantly of Head Coach Joe Philbin and his staff. By taking the lessons taught to him by his father and feeding off of that drill instructor mentality, his odds of making the final roster and making an impact should increase.
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