Matos Urges Soldiers To Reach Out To Army Homefront Fund
Through two separate enlistments in the Army, Sergeant Lawrence Matos could count on the military to help support his large family. He has a wife, four children, and three grandchildren who rely on him. But what brought Matos back into the Army the second time was the camaraderie and the chance to serve his country. In March 2008, Matos suffered an injury that would change his life forever.
He was riding in an up-armored MRAP personnel carrier on duty with the 4th Infantry Division in Mosul, Iraq. As the carrier passed a bus parked on the side of the road about 10 meters away, the bus detonated – an improvised explosive device. The MRAP, and Matos inside, jerked to the left. His head hit the turret, giving him a concussion. It was not his first. He also sustained serious back and knee injuries.
Coming home has been tough. He has nightmares and can’t sleep in his own bed. His rehabilitation at Fort Carson, Colorado has been long and difficult. He was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury, requiring both cognitive and speech therapy. And slowly, he is losing his sight.
Adding to the difficulties for the Matos family are the hard economic times hitting every American. Of his four children, two are adults, but can’t find work and live with their
parents. Sergeant Matos’ veterans and injury benefits are supporting the entire family.
“It wasn’t one thing,” Matos says. “Just everything added up.” He went to his AW2 Advocate, who referred him to the Army Homefront Fund
and Operation Homefront
. The Matos family has received help paying their rent and making their car payments, as well as assistance for utilities and food.
“It helps out a lot. The rent and the car payment were my two major priorities – a roof over my head and a car so we can look for work. I was worried about being homeless.” Operation Homefront has been able to provide assistance to the Matos family on multiple occasions.
Matos urges his fellow soldiers who are facing financial difficulty to reach out to the Army Homefront Fund for help. “If you have problems, they’ll be there to help you out. It’s a great institution.”