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Honored Veteran 2024

Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) USMC Matt McSorley

Honored Veteran 2024

Matt McSorley was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, growing up in a rough neighborhood of the city. In 2002, while a junior in high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Upon high school graduation, he attended Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, SC, combat and engineer
training at Camp Lejeune, NC, and was stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA.

He then deployed to Iraq in 2004 aboard naval ships, first providing aid in Sri Lanka and Indonesia following a devastating tsunami. Completing combat operations in 2005 (Al Hillah, modern-day Babylon), he returned home in 2005. He then deployed and conducted combat operations in Iraq in 2006 (Al-
Fallujah) and 2008 (Al-Qa'im).

While visiting the Statue of Liberty on leave in 2008, he received a call that he was selected to join Marine Special Operations and to return immediately. After completing extensive training, he was deployed to Helmand, Afghanistan with Marine Special Operations in 2010. During this time, he was part of village stability operations, living among the local population with a small team. In the month of November, while out detecting for explosives on a nighttime patrol, he was knocked unconscious by an explosion but refused to leave his team. Two days later he was responsible for providing immediate medical aid to four team members and coordinating their evacuation from the battlefield, all survived with injuries. In total, he was involved in five direct explosions, countless rocket and mortar fires, and numerous engagements with the

In 2011, while receiving treatment with the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at Camp Pendleton, CA, he was selected to deploy again to Afghanistan. It was during this deployment that he decided to leave active duty after the loss of three of his mentors from an insider attack and being subjected to an NCIS investigation; that was later dismissed. He intended to focus on his role as a father and husband, and following his wife's recommendation, they moved their family to her hometown of Scio and purchased a house in the Jordan area.

Learning that there were no fire and EMS volunteers for this area, he joined the Scio Fire District in 2015. He completed the Santiam Fire Academy as the first member of Scio FD to receive the “Ember Award” given to the top recruit. He then used skills gained from the Marine Corps to complete high-angle rope, confined space, and swift water rescue training. In addition, going above the required training and completing all levels of firefighter and apparatus operations. He was certified by DPSST as an engine boss for wildfire operations, fire officer 2, hazmat incident commander, Firefighter instructor 1, and public education and life safety instructor. He is also a certified EMT-B, having worked with the Jefferson and Lyons Fire Departments.

In 2018, he was deployed to Central America as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve. During this deployment, he served as an operations chief overseeing multiple school and hospital construction projects in several countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Belize. He also found time to help instruct Honduran firefighters, alongside the Air Force firefighters. He spent the Fourth of July in Cuba that year and was sent to Guatemala to provide engineering expertise after a volcano had destroyed several villages west of Guatemala City.

Returning home to his family in 2019, he continued to volunteer with Scio Fire District throughout the Beachie Creek fire, remaining and observing conditions in the Jordan area while updating the neighbors daily with information. While his wife and children were evacuated to the Linn County Fairgrounds. In 2019, he also began working with Jefferson Fire District throughout the pandemic until the end of 2022. Matt is extremely blessed to be the father of five children, all still in school. Two of his children continue to set personal records in cross country and track & field of which he is extremely proud. He continues to work in EMS and is a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, celebrating his 21st year as a Marine.

His children are his soul drive in life and he can often be found teaching them “dangerous things safely.” This includes doing science experiments, exploring nature, auto and home repair, farm and gardening, and firearm safety. He most recently took his children on a cross-country road trip towing a travel trailer from Oregon to Texas to North Carolina and up the East Coast to Washington DC to see their mom who was away training as a member of the Oregon Army National Guard. They continued to Philadelphia and across the northern part of the country, seeing all the major attractions along the way home.

He is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, and an active member of the community, always lending help and assistance where he can.

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