'It's an experience that shapes you' - Norwalk veteran honored for 8 years in the Army

News 12 Connecticut is profiling veterans in the state ahead of Veterans Day - and this Norwalk veteran says the "Army was a calling."

News 12 Staff

Nov 11, 2020, 12:24 AM

Updated 1,321 days ago

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News 12 Connecticut is profiling veterans in the state ahead of Veterans Day - and this Norwalk veteran says the "Army was a calling."
"It's an experience that shapes you and forms you and really gives you a perspective on the world," says 33-year-old Mathew Seebeck.
Seebeck joined the United States Army Reserve in 2008 and served for eight years.
That included being deployed to Guantanamo Bay as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012 and 2013.
"I felt like serving in the military would prepare me for not only for my personal and private life but also to better serve my community," he says.
Military service runs in Seebeck's family. He tells News 12 his grandfathers and uncles all served throughout World War II and Vietnam, so Seebeck grew up hearing about their commitment.
"I really got a broad picture of the benefits of military service, and so I felt that pull to serve, that pull to be part of something bigger than myself," he says.
That pull is still present in Seebeck's life in a different form - now as the junior vice commander at American Legion Post 12 in Norwalk. He's dedicated to pushing for legislation that can help combat veterans' problems.
"By being an active member locally, I can advocate for people in our community who are experiencing that - whether it be something as simple as the VA expanding electronic medical records or just expanding PTSD and TBI services," Seebeck says.
He'll spend part of Veterans Day week like he did last year - sharing his experiences with a local elementary school class virtually and teaching them what it means to serve.
"Veterans Day is one of the most important days of the year for me personally," he says. "It's an opportunity to stop, take a knee and really thank all of the people before me and with me who donned our country's cloth and said, 'send me.'"


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