Rodney Matson is the son of Garth Matson and his second wife, Helga. He has an older sister, Carrie, and a younger brother Phil. He has two older half siblings, Frank and Barbara, from his father's first marriage to Donna Parmeneter. (See Matson Family Tree).
Rod graduated from High School in 1965 and tried to join the service, but was rejected for not having a little finger on his left hand. He was to school at Athens University and discovered an aptitude and interest in Archaeology. He graduated in 1969 with a degree in business admin and a minor in archaeology. He earned a Master's in archaeology from Brown and a Doctorate at UCLA in 1973. He became an assistant professor at Colorado State University.AF24
Rodney is an important character in the book Absent Friend. Although not a Vietnam war veteran himself, he joins the Toivo Expedition Group providing archaeological training to those that were hoping to go to Vietnam and search for Henry Toivo. When a chance did come, Rod Matson was a member of the expedition that in fact did go to Vietnam search, locate, and return Henry's remains to Spearfish Lake.AF51