KIA November 23, 2009
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Maryland National Guard
On November 23, 2009, while completing a combat patrol mission near Pashay Kala, Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle SSG Matthew Pucino was riding in, taking his life. SSG Pucino was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha Intelligence Sergeant serving in his third deployment in support of the Global War on Terror.
SSG Pucino graduated from Bishop Stang High School I 1993, where he played as the school’s quarterback before earning a degree in Criminal Justice in college. Matthew enlisted into the U.S. Army in 2002 as a Special Forces candidate after being deeply affected by the events of September 11th, 2001. Pucino went on to complete the Special Forces Qualifications Course and earned his Green Beret. During his service, it was not unusual to see Matthew going the extra mile to take care of his teammates; in one Christmas-Eve raid, he held the hand of a wounded teammate while he was being transported back to the base hospital before donating blood and returning to support his team on the battlefield. Matthew’s hard work and dedication to serving his country led to many awards, including the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and Army Commendation Medal among many others.
Matthew may be gone, but the legacy he has left behind continues to impact his family, friends and brothers-in-arms. “We are eternally grateful for the short time we were given to live with him in our lives,” his sister, Melissa wrote. “Matthew is always one to “keep it light.” Constantly joking and bring laughter with him is how he lived. Matthew will remain in our hearts and minds for eternity.”
SSG Matthew Pucino was 34 years old from Bounre, Maryland.
Original portrait was presented May 24th, 2017 to his mother, father and sisters at a special event hosted by Sanofi in Boston, Massachusetts.
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