Sergeant Matthew McClintockby Representative Jim McDermott
Posted on 2016-01-12
McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, on the wall outside my office are the
faces of 149 men and women from Washington State who were killed in
action over the past 14 years in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
Today it is with reverence that I will add the 150th face: Sergeant Matthew McClintock's. Matthew was killed in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on the 5th of January.
Sergeant McClintock was a Green Beret, an engineer, a National Guardsman, as well as a dedicated friend, son, husband, and father.
He joined the Army in 2006 and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of three tours. On one of his tours, his best friend was killed. So you can imagine what was in his mind when he was now leading a group in Afghanistan and one of his men was on the ground, hit. He knew the danger, but he went out to try and save his teammate.
He epitomized everything we admire about our warriors: their skill, their mettle, their commitment to their teammates, to their families, and to us as a nation. The loss of a promising, smart, steadfast young man, whose devotion to family and country was freely given, should not and will not be accepted without sorrow and respect.
I had the chance to meet Matthew's wife, Alexandra, and their 3- month-old son, Declan, on Friday, when Matthew came back to Dover Air Force Base. Everything his family said about him speaks of a man I would like to have known.
It is said that the true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him but because he loves what is behind him. Matthew leaves behind a proud and beautiful family.
His wife asked that she have a chance to go up to Walter Reed to see the man her husband went out to save, who is still alive. That is the kind of family this is. We, as a nation, should be forever grateful that someone of his caliber--and his family--continues to choose to fight.
Mr. Speaker, we have entered the 15th year of this war, and it is easy to forget what is still going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other places where our soldiers are.
I became aware of this because somebody in my district was Matthew's father-in-law. He called me up and asked if I would be of help. I was glad to do it, but I realized I had not been aware of what had happened to him.
So I asked the Army press people: Was this reported in the press? They said, yes, that it was on television for 45 seconds.
The American people are being allowed not to see and not to hear about Matthew McClintock. They are not being told what is going on.
We sent him there. We gave him the gun. We gave him the bullets. We gave him the body armor. We gave him everything and sent him over there and asked him to do this for us. He did it. He was willing to lay down his life for us.
We deserve more time with people like Matthew and like many of the soldiers who went before him. But for those who survive them--Matthew's teammates, his family--Alexandra and especially Declan--when this war finally ends, they deserve long and happy lives in peace.