1. says

    I had the good fortune of meeting Sgt. Matlovich in the late 70’s at the D.C. Eagle Bar (have no idea if it still exists).

    As a shy young man from rural Northern Michigan who lived in D.C. for a very short time, I was somewhat awe struck that I was so close to, what for me qualified as a celebrity. As a veteran myself, I remember when the story broke. It was earth shattering stuff at the time. So I wasn’t going to let this moment pass without going up to him, introducing myself, and thanking him for what he was trying to do.

    He couldn’t have been nicer. I discovered that this courageous man in my opinion, was also very shy. To make a long story short, we chatted for awhile. I thanked him for what he was doing. He actually blushed.

    A few years later, I read he had died from AIDS. I immediately thought of that night when our paths crossed. I smiled.

    He has one of the best and most appropriate epitaphs on his grave stone I have ever seen. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, it reads:

    “They gave me a medal for killing two men, and a dishonorable discharge for loving one.” It kind of says it all.

    Thank you, and rest in peace Sgt. Matlovich.

  2. RJ says

    Andy, thank you for this. I hadn’t seen it before. Sgt Matlovich was/is a true hero, for his country and for our community. It’s good to be reminded, especially on days like today.

  3. Thomas Cardellino says

    My deepest thanks to you young Andy Towle for this short clip of Sergeant Matlovich which I first saw when I was a closeted and somewhat bewildered by the world 21-year-old. This brave man’s personal integrity was buttressed by his devotion and service to his country in some of its darkest political days.
    Can never express to you how this single soul’s journey through a domestic “enemy’s territory” enriched my life and helped lift the shroud of shame that once was hung over me by habits and customs that denied his and my fully natural selves. Thanks especially for understanding in your youth, and in helping others to understand that this a long road we are embarked upon to honor the full promise of our incomparable US Constitution. By almost all we can do each and every day, we too can be heroes for generations to come. Thanks to all who have and do serve this country in their own specialties, but a grand shout out today to the people who wear the uniform, even despite what the many politicians have done to dishonor their pledge to serve.

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