Profile: SGT Matthew W.

Profile: SGT Matthew W.

July 19, 2019 1 Comment

Name: Matthew W. 

Rank: Sergeant

Branch: Army 

Status: Veteran

MOS: 11B – Infantryman 

Length of Service: 7 years

Did you deploy? I deployed with the New York Army National Guard to Iraq in 2004. My unit was Charlie Company, 2/108th Infantry. While in country, we were attached to the 1/26 Infantry 1st Infantry Division. Our area of operations was Samarra, Iraq and the surrounding area. Samarra was in the middle of the Sunni Triangle. It has one of the holiest sites in the Shi'a sect.

Why did you join the military? I joined the military prior to 9/11 to get my college tuition paid

What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned while serving? Don't go alone. I find it particularly important with the epidemic of veteran suicide. When I see people reach out for help, they always say they feel weak reaching out. I try to reframe it as asking for reinforcements. In battle, we call close air support, indirect fire support, more personnel. I encourage them to call close air support. Call someone nearby, have them come to you, and provide support.

What is your most memorable moment or time during your service? Why? The battlefield memorials that I witnessed were the most memorable. Seeing the memorial (boots, rifle, etc), listening to the roll call, slow salutes, Taps, 21-gun salute. It is incredibly moving, heartbreaking, and beautiful.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your service? I was wounded in action on 23Nov04. We were in a convoy of 4 (Bradley, HMMWV, HMMWV, Bradley) I was driving the lead HMMWV. My A-Driver (front passenger) was taping our route because we had endured an ambush in the area earlier in the deployment. While he was narrating the video with details about the ambush, we came to a T intersection. I turned left, before I could get to speed an IED detonated. It was triggered before the engine and front tire. It absorbed the majority of the blast. I believe the location saved my life. I sustained a significant injury to the outside of my left knee. The initial injury was the size of a small Nerf football and severed my peroneal nerve. I developed compartment syndrome that went undiagnosed. This caused the muscles related to lifting your toes to become necrotic. The muscle was removed, leading to permanent foot drop. I also sustained shrapnel wounds to my right knee. I also had some minor abrasions to my left hand and right forearm. My A-Driver sustained a shrapnel wound to his eye. It wasn't a catastrophic injury as he can still see out of that eye. My gunner was uninjured in the incident. Although, I did notice a hole in his blouse.

Interested in sharing a story of your own? Please consider doing so with Combat Flags via BlogOps.

BlogOps is a first-of-its-kind chronicle of voices and stories of U.S. Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard and Veterans from around the world. BlogOps execution will result in a library of stories and firsthand accounts that can be shared with friends, family and future generations.

Each story provides an individual perspective to make your military experience unique and relatable, rather than one of the "collective many" so commonly portrayed in the mass media. Much like the Original Combat Flag, this is our chance to have our voices heard.​

Share your story today.



1 Response

kathy nadon
kathy nadon

December 02, 2019

I am going to send you the same note as I sent to the others on this website so I don’t miss anyone.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your service to our country. I volunteer because of you, and I love it. I also write to military personnel who are fighting overseas writing letters, sending them cards that they can send home to their loved ones, and of course Peanut Butter Choc chip cookies. If you ever need a homemade card to brighten your day, let me know!

Leave a comment


Also in Blog Ops

Profile: PO2 Kevin T.
Profile: PO2 Kevin T.

October 25, 2019 4 Comments

The world is a small place and we're all humans and we're not different. Languages might be different and our customs but we are humans and we all have the same wants and desires.

Read More

Profile: SSG Patrick S.
Profile: SSG Patrick S.

October 10, 2019 8 Comments

America your veterans, most often will go back and do it all over again. We loved what we did and very proud of our service, memories, wounds and disabilities. Is it too much to ask that our post service care and treatment isn't first rate without more drama and trauma?

Read More

Profile: Major Bryan P.

September 07, 2018 6 Comments

The military was always about adapting and overcoming obstacles and that has significantly helped me in my career, in school, while volunteering, in everything I do. As I look back over my career, a majority of my training and education involved problem-solving and I am grateful to have learned that skill.

Read More