Our Hero. Our Son. Pfc. Matthew Wildes

Pfc. Matthew Wildes wanted to join the Army at 16 years of age so he went in on the delayed entry program. He couldn't sign up until he turned 17 years of age with me & his dad's permission. He wanted to join so bad so we signed the paper for him to join. He wanted to be an INFANTRYMAN. We tried talking Matt into going in another MOS. But 11B is what he wanted to be. He went off to Ft. Benning 4/08.

In BCT Matt got stress fractures in his legs. They sent him home for a month, then back to Ft. Benning rehab for 5 weeks. He was over halfway through BCT at this point. Matt had to finish with a different group. He spent his month of recovery anxious to get back and disappointed he wouldn't be graduating with the soldiers he started with.. Matthew wanted this really bad. He graduated on 9/26/08 and came home for a week, then off to his 1st duty station at Ft. Carson, Colorado. We drove from Louisiana a 1300 mile ride together - it's a beautiful state! A week before Matt deployed, his dad & I drove up to see him.

Matt left for Afghanistan on 5/26/09. We were so so lucky Matt got sent home on R&R on 8/4/09. He was so mad he had to take his R&R 2 months after getting over to Afghanistan. A lot of the other guys were on their 2nd & 3rd deployments. Matt was a new soldier; he didn't get to pick his time for R&R.

We had 2 weeks with Matt before he was killed. Matt's Cpt. told us when Matt got to Kandahar Air Force base, he wanted to get back to his outpost so bad instead of waiting his turn - he jumped a head of 2 people. Matthew had only been back at the outpost for 12 hours before he was sent out on this volunteer mission that he was killed on 8/27/09 by an IED. He left Louisiana from being on R&R on 8/21/09 and he was killed on 8/27/09.

We are just so BLESSED that we got those 2 weeks with him. While Matt was home he bought a Neon Green Ninja motorcycle. Being a Mom, I freaked out. I just knew he was going to get killed on that bike. Now I am so glad he got to enjoy that bike for 2 weeks.

Matthew was doing what he wanted to do what he loved doing. Matthew embodied the characteristics of a proud American soldier and hero, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country. We pray that God protects our troops who continue to be in harms way. God Bless America! Bless all of our soldiers & their families!



Proud Army Parents, Mary & Cl