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In college I lost my faith and then became a comparative religion major.
I worked in finance and publishing for a couple of years after college and then joined the Marines.
In 2007, after my second deployment to Iraq, PTSD, moral injury and severe depression took over my life. I began trying to drink myself to death. Thoughts of suicide became common until they were a near daily presence by 2011.
In early 2012, after thoughts of suicide had evolved into plans for suicide, I began to have breakdowns. At rock bottom, a description for a circumstance I used to think cliched until I met it personally, I somehow made the right decision. I entered into therapy and stopped drinking. Minus a few days, I’ve remained sober. I also take medication.
The concept of a future is available to me again; PTSD, TBI, moral injury, depression and alcohol take that from you. It is an incredibly profound joy to once more have a life ahead of me.
More importantly, my soul, which I had kicked into a hole and subjugated years ago, is getting healthy too.
+ In February 2016 I was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in addition to my psychological issues. In October of 2016, I received a diagnosis of neurological-cognitive disorder.
Matthew has been a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy since 2010. In 2009, Matthew resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department over the American escalation of the war. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew took part in the American occupation of Iraq; first in 2004-5 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-7 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. When not deployed, Matthew worked on Afghanistan and Iraq war policy and operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department from 2002-8.
Matthew’s writings have appeared in online and print periodicals such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution, CounterPunch, CNN, Defense News, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, the Raleigh News & Observer, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He has been a guest on hundreds of news programs on radio and television networks including the BBC, CBS, CNN, CSPAN, Fox, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, Pacifica and PBS. The Council on Foreign Relations has cited Matthew’s resignation letter from his post in Afghanistan as an Essential Document.
In 2010, Matthew was named the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling and, in 2021, he was awarded as a Defender of Liberty by the Committee for the Republic. Matthew is a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Public Accuracy, an Advisory Board Member for the Committee to Defend Julian Assange and Civil Liberties, Expose Facts, North Carolina Committee to Investigate Torture, The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, Veterans For Peace, and World Beyond War, and he is an Associate Member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He is a 100% disabled veteran and was certified by North Carolina as a Peer Support Specialist for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder.