Veteran of the Day graphic created by Alexandra Craig for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Matthew Shubzda. Matt served during the War on Terror.
With a dream of becoming a fighter pilot, Matt applied to the Military Academy, the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy in his senior year of high school. After being accepted to all three, Matt chose to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated in May 1998 and was commissioned with the United States Navy.
Matt earned his wings in 2001 and was assigned as an F-18 Super Hornet fighter pilot with Strike Fighter Squadron Four One, also known as the “Black Aces,” based out of Lemoore, California.
On Oct. 18, 2002 while performing combat exercises in preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Matt and another F-18 collided mid-air. All four aviators involved in the collision were killed.
Matt is memorialized at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas. He is remembered for his exceptional dedication, drive and skill, having achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a fighter pilot at a young age.
We honor his service.
Memorial Day Awareness
This month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry the Load, a nonprofit organization that connects Americans to the sacrifices made daily by the U.S. military, Veterans, first responders and their families to commemorate the “Memorial May” awareness campaign. The VA will share the stories of service members and Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in “Veteran of the Day” posts leading up to Memorial Day 2019.
Editor: Geoffrey Townsley
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Graphic design: Alexandra Craig