Four years. Four very long years. It really doesn't seem like it has been that long.
SFC Matthew Blaskowski was killed at Firebase Vegas in Kunar Province, Afghanistan by a lone sniper's bullet on 23 September 2007. Matt's death has left a huge hole in so many hearts. His widow, Daniela; his parents, Terry & Cheryl; his brother Stan and his wife Becky and their two children, Keegan and Haley, as well as legions of friends and Army buddies from around the globe.
As part of the Memorial Day remembrance events this year (2011) the town of Cheboygan, Michigan dedicated a Memorial Monument to all of the fallen in the Wars on Terror from their city. I was honored to be at the dedication with the Blaskowski family, some of Matt's former battle buddies, many family friends and a host of citizens.
Matt's parents, brother, sister in law and their children and battle buddies at the Memorial
The base of the Memorial. To date Matt's name is the only one inscribed. One too many but, hopefully, the last one to be added.
Rest in Peace Matt. You are missed as much today as you ever have been but we also continue to remember your smile, your wit, your laugh, your love of hunting, your compassion for mankind and your zest for life. A true American Hero taken from us way too soon but whose memory will live forever.
Matt was laid to rest near his boyhood home in Levering, Michigan on 4 October 2007.
I rarely drink alone but tonight I raise a glass to Matt. CHEERS!
I wrote this in tribute to Matt last year.
Matt Burden of Blackfive wrote about SFC Blaskowski here, here and here in his "Someone You Should Know" series.