Veterans share experiences at VFW ceremony Monday
Polk County Enterprise - November 2007
LIVINGSTON — Former U.S. Army Cavalry Scout Matt Martin of Livingston spoke about his 29 months in a combat unit in Iraq during the Veteran’s Day ceremonies at VFW Post 8568 in Livingston.
Martin earned many commendations for his outstanding service during combat operations in Iraq, including the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
Martin was wounded twice while serving in Iraq. Shrapnel caught him in the lower leg during his first tour of duty, but he recuperated and returned to action.
In September 2006, on his brother’s birthday, an IED blast threw Martin into a sewage canal and caused injuries to his eye, mouth, ear and head.
The terroristic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 spurred Martin to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfathers and enlist in the military.
Matt’s uncle, Everett Parker, his father, Greg Martin Sr. and his grandfather Edward Hughes are all veterans.
Despite everything Matt has endured in the service of his country, he downplays his own courage.
“I don’t consider myself a hero, but those that paid the ultimate price, they are the heroes,” Martin said.
Martin is the son of Scott and Becky Martin of Livingston.
Marine Captain Jerry Dushell also spoke about the long-delayed welcome home for Viet Nam era veterans.
“But one day while in an airport, a gentleman come up to him and said ‘Thank you.’” He said that ‘thank you’ changed his thoughts about the war.
“So I now say to you all here and now, those who have served and those who served and are not present—thank you,” Dushell said.
Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack also spoke Monday in tribute to the sacrifice of all the young men and women in the military.
Hammack asked everyone to remember the service and duty to our country that veterans have already provided, and their continuing service to the community.