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Doing What Needed to Be Done - Marine Sergeant Matthew Abbate - SYSK

Abbate1Sergeant Matthew Abbate with his son Carson

Marine Sgt. Matthew Abbate will posthumously receive the Navy Cross for his heroism Oct. 14, 2010, in Afghanistan.  Via the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit:

According to his citation, Abbate lead his section of Marines through an insurgent ambush that began as their patrol came under insurgent fire while in a minefield in northern Sangin. The Marines began to take fire from the enemy and were moving into cover, when two Marines and one corpsman were injured.

While Abbate was “exposed and personally suppressing the enemy, he directed the remaining squad member’s fire until they effectively suppressed.” He rendered life-saving aid to the casualties, coordinated the medical evacuation, swept the landing zone for explosives and led a counter attack to clear enemy fighters from the landing zone, which allowed a helicopter to evacuate the injured.

Abbate was killed in action on December 2, 2010. He was 26 years old and is survived by his son and family members in the Fresno, Calif., area.

The citation is incredible.  It's a wonder it's not a MoH citation as Sergeant Abbate repeatedly exposed himself to fight the enemy head on and to rescue his men.
Sergeant Abbate was later killed in a tragic freak occurrence where danger close air strikes set off enemy explosives and shrapnel hit the good sergeant as he peered over a berm too soon.  Reading what his peers, officers, and Marines have said about him, it makes sense that he wanted to be first over that berm and into the fight.

This story is a good pointer to Matthew's life and why being a Marine was important to him.

...Jordan Laird, a Marine veteran who was beside him the day he died, said: “The guy had everything going for him. He was strong. He was a good-looking dude. But his sense of duty to his country and to his brothers trumped everything. He was completely selfless when it came down to it.”

Abbate wasn’t in it for the medals, said Laird, 25, speaking by phone from Afghanistan where he works as a security contractor. “He was just a warrior and a patriot. It didn’t matter if he never got an award. … He was always going to go out and do his best and be completely fearless on the battlefield at all times.”

Abbate, who is survived by his 4-year-old son, Carson, was known by family and friends as a “wild child.” As a Marine, he was meritoriously promoted several times and punished several times for brawling and other indiscretions.

“He was the worst teenager I have ever known, and he was the best man I’ve ever known,” his stepfather said. His parents tried to talk him out of re-enlisting, but Abbate’s attitude was “if I die, I die.”

Being a Marine, “that’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at,” he said...

Read the whole piece, especially his parents thoughts, and you can see why he found a home in the Marines. Many of you completely understand that...and why it's commendable that his "Marine family" has recognized him with the Navy Cross.

Godspeed, Sergeant Abbate.