Inspiring a Legion: Soldier’s impact felt, even after death

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A U.S. Army bugler plays taps as Matthew Blount is laid to rest in 2012. (File)

A U.S. Army bugler plays taps as Matthew Blount is laid to rest in 2012. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

PELHAM – Every time David Blount has walked into his garage for the past three years, he has seen a black-and-chrome reminder of a brother taken too soon.

Next to David’s late-model Honda VTX motorcycle sits a 600cc 2002 Honda Shadow motorcycle representing much more than the sum of its parts.

“One thing I wish I would have done differently, I wish I would have learned to ride earlier. That was something he always enjoyed,” David said in a somber tone.

Before he died on March 10, 2012, David’s brother, Matthew, spent every second he could riding the Honda Shadow – usually to and from the Sonic drive-in restaurant in Jacksonville with his wife, Melinda, riding on the rear passenger seat.

A little more than six months before Matthew died, David enrolled in a motorcycle safety course at the University of Montevallo in an effort to learn the ins and outs of his brother’s favorite pastime.

“I got to ride his motorcycle one or two times with him kind of directing me what to do,” David said. “I wish I would have had more time to do that.”

Although the Honda Shadow doesn’t get ridden as much today as it did back then, David still fires it up on days the memory of his younger brother weighs heavily on his heart.

The collection of chrome pipes, engine covers and black leather is a tangible way to remember a man whose life – cut tragically short – now serves as an inspiration to an entire community.