Matthew Weikert: Bringing Afghanistan Home
By: Legacy Staff
8 years ago
While U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is coming under increased scrutiny following WikiLeaks' publication of sensitive military documents, hundreds of everyday people are coming together to remember a fallen soldier from Jacksonville, Illinois.
Only 29 years old, SSG Matthew Weikert had already served 4 tours in Iraq and had been recently deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division. Enlisted first with the Marines and later the Army, he’d been awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the NATO medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
On July 17th, SSG Weikert was killed by an improvised explosive device in the Paktika province of Afghanistan.
Thousands lined the streets of Jacksonville on Monday to pay tribute to a fallen hero many of them had never personally met. The funeral was overflowing with attendees, and now his Guest Book has seen hundreds of messages pouring in from all over the country.
"Although I don't know the Weikert family, I would like to extend my deepest condolences. As I read Matthew's obituary, I was especially impressed with his committment to properly train and protect newer soldiers. As his loss is mourned, perhaps reflection upon the number of lives he may have saved, and may continue to save, will offer some consolation. May God grant him eternal peace and comfort those that loved and knew Matthew."