In Memory of SSG Matthew A. Pucino
SSG Matthew Pucino, age 34, was killed on November 23, 2009 as a result of an improvised explosive device strike to his all-terrain vehicle, while conducting a combat patrol in the vicinity of Pashay Kala, Afghanistan. He was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha Intelligence Sergeant assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) of the Maryland Army National Guard.
Matthew was a native of Massachusetts and grew up in Plymouth and Bourne, Massachusetts. He graduated from Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 1993. He had a college degree in Criminal Justice and worked part-time as a police officer for Yarmouth, Massachusetts in the mid-1990s. He was an excellent cook, had a quiet sense of humor, and was very athletic - devoted to weightlifting and playing organized football.
He enlisted in the Army in 2002 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Once he was Special Forces qualified he served as an Engineer Sergeant. He was initially assigned on active duty with the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While with the 5th SFG(A) he deployed twice to Iraq.
Upon release from active duty he joined the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) where he served with B/3/20th in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina and then transferred to B/2/20th in Glen Arm, Maryland. Matthew stayed busy with the military even after his release from active duty; attending numerous training events, exercises, and military courses while with 20th Special Forces. When not busy with military activities he worked for NEK Advanced Securities Group; working in the United States and deploying to combat zones on training projects.
His military education includes the Warrior Leader's Course, Basic NCO Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Course, Basic Airborne Course, Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant Course, Gryphon Group Mobile Force Protection Driving Course, Arabic Language Course, and the Special Forces Qualification Course.
His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab, Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Annual Blackbeard's Ride. Each year a motorcycle ride is held commemorating Matt. Watch a short 3-min long video of the 6th Annual Blackbeard's Ride held in 2016.
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November 24, 2009. "DoD Identifies Army Casualty". Department of Defense News.
November 24, 2009. "Md. Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Attack". WBAL TV Baltimore.
November 25, 2009. "Hudson native killed by IED in Afghanistan". Boston.com.
November 25, 2009. "Hudson native killed in Afghanistan". Boston Herald.
November 25, 2009. "Boston Native Killed in Afghanistan". WCVB TV 5.
November 25, 2009. "Soldier with ties to Plymouth, Mass., killed in Afghanistan". NECN.com.
November 25, 2009. "Former Plymouth resident killed in Afghanistan". Wicked Local Plymouth.
November 25, 2009. "Local Soldier killed in Afghanistan". WPRI.com.
November 25, 2009. "Plymouth Green Beret 'died doing what he loved' - fighting for his country". Patriot Ledger.
November 25, 2009. "Mass. native killed in Afghanistan". NECN.com.
November 26, 2009. "Bishop Stang graduate killed in Afghanistan". SouthCoastToday.com.
November 26, 2009. "Green Beret killed in Afghan war mourned". The Boston Globe.
November 26, 2009. "Soldier with ties to Orlando dies in Afghanistan". Orlando Sentinel.
November 26, 2009. "Plymouth: Another native son dies in Afghanistan". WATD-FM 95.9.
November 27, 2009. "Plymouth recognizes fallen soldiers before Thanksgiving football game". Patriot Ledger.
November 30, 2009. "Family of fallen Plymouth soldier opts for public memorial service". The Patriot Ledger.
December 1, 2009. "Memorial service planned for Staff Sgt. Matthew Pucino". Wicked Local.
December 1, 2009. "Plymouth memorial service for soldier". Cape Cod Times.
December 1, 2009. "Flags Half Staff 12/2". Northboro News.
December 2, 2009. "Sgt. Pucino - Stang grad, elite soldier - remembered as a leader and gentleman". South Coast Today.
December 2, 2009. "Memorial service held for Plymouth soldier killed in Afghanistan". NECN.
December 3, 2009. "Tears, laughter at memorial service for fallen soldier, Bishop Stang graduate". South Coast Today.
December 3, 2009. "Plymouth church service honors fallen Green Beret". Cape Cod Online.
December 3, 2009. "A solemn salute for Plymouth soldier killed in Afghanistan". Wicked Local.
January 21, 2010. "Girl's poem honors soldier killed in Afghanistan". Explore Baltimore County.
October 20, 2011. "Senate passes bill to rename post office for fallen Plymouth soldier". Patriot Ledger.
July 23, 2012. "Norwood teen raises funds for Matthew Pucino Foundation". WickedLocal.com.
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