Matthew Gilbert enlisted into the Army in 2003 as a senior at Anoka Sr. High. He went to Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA to become an Infantryman in August of 2004 and was station in Fort Lewis, WA; where he was assigned to 1st Battalion 23rd Infantry Regiment as a Company Commander’s radio operator and bodyguard.
He deployed to Iraq in June 2006 to September 2007 where he was involved in door to door clearing operations and providing medical aid to women and child in different neighborhoods around Baghdad. His unit’s deployment was extended for the “Surge” in 2007 and they were sent to assist in reclaiming a large portion of Baqubah from Islamic extremist in order to provide a safer living situation for the local population. He was also involved with delivering rice and bottled water to the areas that he helped make safe. During his deployment he was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in combat and an Army Accommodation with “V” device for valorous action in getting medical aid to wounded members of his unit and emergency air support.
After his deployment he reenlisted into the Army National Guard as a Chaplain’s Assistant. After several attempts in figuring out what he wanted to do for a living now that his enlistment is over, he is attending Bethel University to get a B.A. in Christian Ministry.
He is married, has a service dog named Shipwreck, and his family is expecting their first child September 2013!