A soldier named Matt S. is the subject of this Serve. He is a man who experienced life and combat in Iraq over a period of 24 continual months during Operation Iraqi Freedom and has been active duty in the U.S. Army since 2000. Currently, he serves as a Staff Sergeant as an ammunitions specialist. He comes from a long line of men who have proudly served and sacrificed in the Armed Forces. I can truly tell that Matt has so much respect for those who have sacrificed. I saw it in the tear in his eye as he shared why he chose the Fort Ripley Military Cemetery as the background for his photo; to him each burial site is a symbol of sacrifice. Matt's time in Iraq left an indelible mark on him, but it also forged him into the man he is today. I suppose one could say he was refined by what he endured while under fire in a country thousands of miles from home. I am continually brought to a place of awe and respect for people like Matt. Admiration wells up inside of me as I realize I am sitting next to someone who has lived out the very definition of what it means to “lay down his life for his fellow man”. I am so thankful for the sacrifice that people like Matt have made. A thousand thank yous could never repay your sacrifice.
Shawn Nielsen Mobile. 612.750.2593
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