“You guys save lives. Without your programs, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do or have what I have. The Fund is life-changing and lifesaving.”
For Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Keil, being a part of The Fund family “means that I always have someone in my corner. You guys are always there,” he said.
Matthew, who was severely wounded while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom, knows the immeasurable importance of living side by side with trusted allies. After he was shot by the enemy while on patrol, his incredible medic and squad members helped save his life, and paired with his courage and resilience, Matthew’s endless perseverance helped him both survive this incredible hardship and thrive after his injuries.
Inspired by family members who served in World War II and Vietnam, Matthew joined the Army in 2001 and deployed to Kosovo, then twice to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2007, Matthew was critically injured by a sniper just after putting a camo net over a stairwell to obscure his squad’s movement to and from the roof. Though Matthew initially blacked out after being shot, he quickly regained consciousness as his courageous unit carried him off the battlefield to safety at the aid station, where he was loaded onto an aircraft bound for Germany to continue his fight for his life.
Matthew spent over six months in various hospitals across the U.S., and it was during this time that he and his family first encountered Semper Fi & America’s Fund. To ensure Matthew could safely access all floors of his home, The Fund offset the cost of installing a home elevator, giving Matthew and his family invaluable peace of mind and furthering Matthew’s independence. The Keil family also became active members of The Fund family, attending various Fund events where they connected with other service members, veterans, and military families facing similar situations — the support of whom proved to be a great help to Matthew’s healing process.
“My family and I would be lost without the connections we have made through Semper Fi & America’s Fund. It is all encompassing,” he said. “You guys save lives. Without your programs, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do or have what I have. The Fund is life-changing and lifesaving.”
In the years following his medical retirement, Matthew cites the love of his wife, Tracy, and his children, Matthew and Faith, as his biggest motivation throughout his recovery, and The Fund is honored to have walked beside this courageous family each step of their journey — grateful to always be there as Matthew meets each new milestone and lives his life to the fullest.
Learn more about assistance for veterans like Matthew