Supply Crate – Matt
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Today's Supply Crate request came from Matt. Matt really wanted a Supply Crate and asked us about receiving one; we directed him to Dave, our Director of Veteran Services. He opened up about his military history and reasons for wanting a console and games as he details below:
My service began in 1997. I joined the Arkansas Army National Guard straight out of high school. I attended basic training at Fort Benning, GA.
After the events of 9/11 I felt it was my duty to transfer to active army.
I was stationed at Fort Stewart, GA 3ID, 1st BDE, 2-7 IN
I deployed in January 2003 to OIF I where my unit and I served as a rifleman as the spearhead of the liberation of Iraq, and we marched straight to Baghdad. One of our objectives included the Baghdad International Airport. I lost the first person I met when I arrived at Ft Stewart that deployment. I returned home in August 2003.
Through the Army’s re organization our company became attached to a armor BN. A/3-69AR
In 2005 I deployed to Iraq a second time with the same unit serving as A-Co 3/69 AR company commander Bradley driver. Our patrol base PB Uvanni was in the heart of Samarra. Our worst day was May 23 ( a date that has haunted me every year since) We were attacked by a suicide bomber and 2 VBIED’s, we managed to sustain little casualties. My Ft Stewart roommate was killed in July by an IED and also a friend of mine who I was with when I first met my first wife was killed in a mortar attack. I was deployed for 12 months.
I deployed to Iraq a third time in 2007 for 15mths but managed to take R and R for my sons first birthday. This time it was to Ramadi, where I served as PSG Bradley driver and team leader. May 23 our team maneuvered up on a booby-trapped house killing the SLdr and another Tm Ldr. I drove the Bradley that carried their bodies. My PSG allowed me to drive with the hatch open due to the smell of their charred bodies, a smell that haunts me to this day.
I PCS’d to Ft Carson, CO in 2009 4ID 4th BDE 2/12 IN (LIGHT) and deployed to Afghanistan 3 months after the birth of my second son. I initially trained for the deployment under the leadership of eventual MoH recipient CPT Florent Groberg for those 3 months and served in the same BN as him until 2012. I was assigned to Aco. And joined them in the middle of their deployment. I barely got to know the individuals that deployment especially the 2 that were lost to war. I was deployed 5 months in the Korengal Valley, near the valley of death.
In 2012. I deployed my 5th and final time. With the same unit. From Feb-Nov. where I worked as base defense ops center as the NCOIC of the base Entry control Point.
That’s when I met my friend who introduced me to the supply crates Thomas Jones of Iowa.
I again PCSd to Ft Hood, TX where after 6ths was a TmLdr and SqdLdr. Before suffering a TBI during an NTC rotation that put me down for the count.
In 2015 I PCSd a final time, to Ft Benning where it all began where I served as a training room NCO for A-2/54 Infantry Training BN.
From there I was medically retired 90% from the VA. I'm now married for the second time with 2 daughters (in addition to my two sons). After I retired my father who had been ill since I first joined in 1997 passed away on July 4, 2016. Less than 1 month after I retired.
I have suffered a lot of loss in friends and brothers, some since I got out have attempted or succeeded in suicide. I have at times stopped myself. There have been and continue to be sleepless nights. Thinking about what it would do to my children. My boys are now 15 and 12, my girls 4 and 1. I managed with assistance to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020
I think I would make a good candidate because my boys live in a different state, and I don’t get to see them much. They are video game crazy. Maybe I could play video games with them online as a way to make up for the time I lost with them during deployments. Through the pandemic I have lost touch with them going over 16 months without seeing them.
The pandemic was rough all around, and our Veterans felt the brunt of it as much as the rest. Games can't cure everything, but they do help us build communities, have fun, and distract ourselves on a particularly rough day.
Thank you so much!!
Thank you, Matt, for applying and for not giving up about receiving a crate. Once Dave heard your story, he knew we had to make sure we got one out to you.
This Supply Crate was brought to you by CJanaro. CJanaro, who was also recently a member of our Influencer Relations Team! Thanks for being part of the team in more ways than one!
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