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Matthew G. Conte




02/01/2007, ALBU HYATT, IRAQ

HN Matthew Conte died doing what he wanted to do more than anything in the world. “He was taking care of his guys,” the Marines he served with, said his mother, Lureen Conte. Matthew was a 22 year old hospitalman.

Matthew graduated from Field High School in 2003. He had a strong interest in masonry. HN Conte enlisted in the Navy rather than wait 2 years for a spot in the Seabees, the construction division of the Navy. He was assigned as a corpsman, a medic. “Matthew loved it so much,” Mrs. Conte added, that he wanted to work in radiology after the Navy.

As a corpsman, Doc Conte, as he was known, carried both a weapon and a medical bag on missions, his mother explained. He was highly respected.

“Conte, I can’t believe you’re gone,” said one unidentified writer, on a social media page. He went on to say the knowledge he had passed on had helped save the lives of two Marines. “I’ll never forget you man.” In the Navy, he shined. “The Navy was successful for him,” said his mother. “They built him into a fantastic man.” Mathew was conscientious about his work and innovative. He often asked his mother to send him a variety of extra supplies.

Mrs. Conte also told about organizing a drive for Bibles at her church, and sent 28 Bibles to Matthew. The unit had just a half dozen.

Mrs. Conte said her son loved hunting and fishing. He believed in what the United States was fighting for overseas. “We need to be here. These people have nothing.” Matthew’s group was building schools and hospitals for the Iraqi people.

Mrs. Conte, an insurance underwriter, explained that since learning her son was killed in action, she has been thinking a lot about the cost of freedom. “It is more than you can imagine and different for everyone. The cost of this war for me is a great one, but the same price that over 3,000 mothers have had to pay. My price is my son.”

Matthew Conte, known as “Chew-Chew” as a boy, was changed by what he saw at war, his mother explained. “Life became more precious,” she added.

The last time Mrs. Conte spoke with her son, a few days before he was killed, he asked her if she would send some cookies.

“I want to let you know I love you,” Matthew told his mother.


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