Two weeks after his second wedding anniversary with his wife, Alexandra, and only months after his son Declan was born, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew McClintock was struck down in the line of duty in Afghanistan. On Monday, the fearless Green Beret will be laid to rest with fellow American military heroes at Arlington National Cemetery. The brave soldier will also be posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor.
McClintock, a Special Forces engineer sergeant, was assigned to 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group. While serving his country near the city of Marjah, in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, he was engaged in an hours-long firefight.
McClintock’s teammates said that he left a compound, while under fire, so that he could find a new landing zone that would allow a helicopter to drop in and evacuate his wounded teammate.
“He died saving his friend’s life and went out [under fire] knowing that he could get hurt,” McClintock’s wife, Alexandra, told Army Times. “He ran out without even thinking about himself.”
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew McClintock was killed on January 5, 2016.
Thankfully, Matthew was able to get home from Afghanistan to witness his son’s birth and spend two precious weeks with the newborn. Declan is now four-months-old.
Alexandra eloquently put to words the extreme heartache that she has had to endure since the premature death of her loving husband.
“We’ve crammed so much love and so many memories into these last three years, I just wish that my son got that, too,” she said.
“When he got to really do his job and do the job he loved, he came home a happy man.”
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew McClintock joined the Army in 2006, then was deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He left active-duty in December 2014 after “a very rough Afghanistan deployment when he lost one of his very good friends and teammates,” Alexandra said.
“He loved his job, he was so passionate about it,” she said. “My husband’s a Green Beret. That’s who he is.”
Alexandra McClintock has said she is sure her husband had no regrets. “I know if he woke up that day knowing that’s how the day was going to go, I know he wouldn’t have changed a thing,” she said. “I know he would’ve gone charging out.”
If you’d like to help the McClintock family in their time of need, a GoFundMe account has been setup for donations.