Matt served in Afghanistan with the 951st Sapper Company, 3rd Platoon, RCP 6 from November 2008 until November 2009. The 951st is a National Guard unit with armory’s in Tomahawk and Rhinelander WI. Their mission was to provide route clearance for combat operations in Zabul Province. Matt was wounded on Easter Sunday 2009 from an IED blast that also resulted in the loss of his good friend on October 2, 2009 from an RPG attack.
Matt had the opportunity to serve with what he believes to be the best platoon in the Wisconsin National Guard. Upon his return home there were many individuals along with organizations that showed their appreciation for his service. However, he struggled with fitting back into society and dealing with all the emotions of his combat tour.
According to Matt, “I then decided to check into an organization suggested to me called: Wounded Warriors in Action. Being from Wisconsin I spent my summers fishing, falls hunting grouse, bow hunting and the family gun hunt. After looking further into this organization, I thought it would be a great fit. I signed up for a Camp Hackett hunt and was very excited for the opportunity. I was lucky enough to receive a call from the head of Wounded Warriors in Action, John McDaniel, asking me if I would like to join him on a turkey hunt in Wausau. From the moment I met Mr. McDaniel and Josh Kruger, his associate, I knew I was in for a great weekend. They set me up with a turkey guide by the name of Todd Bohm and my hunting experience was top of the line. This weekend was the first time I felt a sense of healing in which I had been looking for since my return home.”
Through friends and fellowships of the WIAA Matt continues on his path of healing. “I walked away with a feeling of belonging and understanding that I believe could not have come from individuals never in combat. The WIAA not only met its mission statement of healing the hearts and minds of combat veterans, it exceeded it exponentially. I feel a great honor and sense of pride being associated with Mr. John McDaniel and The Wounded Warriors in Action.”