Request for a Congressional Hearing

December 19, 2005, FAX to Senator Dole's Office

(Letter sent while Matthew was serving)


(Faxed page 1 of 18)

(This is a two-page cover letter concerning Matthew’s fax)            

December 19, 2005

The Honorable Senator Dole
310 New Bern Avenue
Suite 122
Raleigh, North Carolina  27601

Attention:  Paula Noble

Dear Paula:

Our son faxed us a copy of what was sent to your office yesterday, on Sunday, December 18, 2005.  It was sent to you by a faxing service.  He had written all his thoughts and complaints on a spiral pad of paper with an ink pen, carrying them around with him and writing in his notes as time allowed.  Since he has been separated from his unit that is training in California and there are not many other entry-level Marines around to do duty, they have placed him on long shifts.

You will find two medical documents attached in their proper sequence, which were also sent with the copy of his letter.   We have placed them in correct order at the end of this transcript in case they were mixed up.  One shows that he is scheduled for administrative separation from the Marines in March of 2006 along with his being “Narcissistic,” which is ridiculous as you can read from the Staff Sgt. letter you now have on file.

We have advised him not to talk with anyone on the base about his intent and actions with you, and that he is to only leave his original copy with someone he trusts and one that lives off base . . . and to not leave it in his room in Hawaii.  The only person I believe he had mentioned this issue to was his Marine legal assistant.

We told him that you wanted details of his abuse and what it has done to him, beginning with his tour in Afghanistan up until now.  He is not a politically correct person, feeling you should know everything along with what he has personally gone through as the results of his abuse. 

You will note that the civilian, who faxed the nineteen-page letter for him, had problems centering the small-sized spiral notebook paper into their machine.  In addition, please remember he has written this over several weeks and as time allowed.  I left a message for you last night to remind you that the fax attendant had sent you two copies because a page was missing from the first transmission to your office.

Because of the size of the paper and the copy written in long hand, you will have trouble reading it.  Therefore, after receiving a copy last night at 10 p.m., we read the letter and then called our son on the words we couldn’t read, which actually were not that many. 
(Faxed page 2 of 18)

Therefore, to assist you in better understanding his request, I have taken his letter and typed it into Word from this evening and into Monday morning, hoping to get it to you before you arrive at work.
You can use his original fax for documentation of what I have put onto paper tonight.  I have also added a few comments in brackets “[ ]” for clarity.  Do you want this e-mailed?

Thank you for helping our son.  While he writes far more content than is necessary, it really shows how he has been totally demoralized. I believe if his contributions had been recognized in Afghanistan, rather then made fun of, we would have a confident and well-trained Marine today.  It just shows what abuse can do to an individual’s self-worth.  It’s all just tragic to us.  He only wanted to make a difference, instead treated like a monkey.

What he writes will hopefully anger you, as it has us.  Maybe now Senator Dole and others can understand why some motivated Marines can wind up pushed out of the service, but only after they are made into misfits by the service itself, their original intent to only want to serve with the brotherhood of the Marines.

As I have said before, we knew nothing about the details of his severe treatment until a few weeks ago, when we saw the Staff Sgt.’s letter sent to you for the congressional hearing, our son at the time not wanting to dishonor his uniform or our image of the Marines he served with.  He had only told us he had some issues with other Marines, but that he could solve it.  That was very brave of him and typical of what one would expect of a Marine true to the Corps.

But knowing what we know now, how could anyone be expected to resolve the kinds of problems our son has been subjected to in Afghanistan, and then later in Hawaii to a lesser extent.

Best regards,



PS: As mentioned to you about two weeks ago, you can find a picture of our son, his face filled with pride, standing outside our home this summer in his Marine Blues while on leave. The URL again is
(Original hand-written fax from Matthew transcribed into Word


(Faxed page 3 of 18)

To:  Paula Noble
Care of:  The Honorable Senator Dole
310 New Bern Ave.
Suite 122. Raleigh, N.C.  27601

I, LCPL Matthew T. Kallback, hereby authorized a Congressional Investigation on my behalf in regards to physical and possible mental hazing and neglect to my well being.  Please understand that if [the] Corps sends me away with nothing, I won’t have the money to pay for [the] bills I owe or get a job with an AdSep on my SRB*.

I would also like to take this time to thank you for your help and patients on this letter and my story to explain everything as best as I could.  I would still like to seek help in case this pain follows me through life [being forced out of the Marines on his record.]

After the corps I had plans for college among other things.  I am just worried about the corps taking everything away that I have worked so hard for.  I wish not to continue my service in the corps due to what has passed, but [instead] would like to join the Army . . . however, with the corps doing this they might take that opportunity from me, as well.

It seems that the corps could careless, because like way they want it.  There’s no college, no Army, and debt and homelessness seems more tangible.

Again, thank you for everything.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully submitted,

Matthew Thomas Kallback              (See signature on original faxed copy.)


[* He tells us an SRB is his document portfolio.]


  (Faxed page 4 of 18)

[Personal documentation that was attached to Matthew’s cover letter.]

This phrase was used by a fellow Marine to explain my problem at hand.  The problem or “failure” as I’ve been told to adapt to the corps, its values, and what it stands for, I will explain later. 

But for now I will explain from the beginning what happened to me;  (time is approximate, place is true, as are the witnesses. Names are fictitious to protect the rights of Marines in the unit.)

I joined the corps in the late year of 03 in the beginning of November.  I had decided to join due to revenge [he says of 9/11, living at the time in northern New Jersey] and a sense of patriotism with a bit of pride and honor in hopes of making a difference.

Before I joined, I played guitar and drums, had long hair, and hung out with generally the wrong crowd at times.  I needed to get out of my lifestyle and make something of myself and prove that I could do anything when I put my mind to it.  So I joined the Marine Corps, I remember thinking what it would be like and loved the thought of a set of Dress Blues (USMC uniform) saying, “I did it, I’m a United States Marine.”

It felt better than anything I had ever encountered, and boy was I right.  During graduation from Recruit Training I cried tears of joy knowing that hell was over and the beginning of a life was to be reborn.

A sense of pride and honor over-whelmed me, because I had become the fiercest fighting machine, feared and respected.  I got to the Fleet in the early year of 04’ and hit the ground running.  I was an 0341, which is MOS (Military Occupation Specialist), 03 was a classification of a broad and small force known none other as the “grunts” or infantry and 41 was the specific jog within the infantry, which was a mortorman.  I was ready to bring steel rain on anyone who opposed us in Afghanistan or Iraq.

That same year I remember training being very tough.  I had problems getting along with others on a social level because of differences in music, dress, or lifestyle.  They saw me as being small, which physically I am, but with every weakness comes strength.  I was a fast runner, my weight made it easy to do lots of pull-ups, and instead of being big pushing everyone around and acting mean, I was small so I had to rely on wits and speed.  This lead me to be who I am as a person in a good heart, generous, and understanding where some of the many virtues I hold dear to this day.


(Faxed page 5 of 18)

Now other Marines didn’t like my “spark,” but I wasn’t about to change for anyone. 

It seems the problem started because others were simply better than me, which happens.  They looked down at me for my slow learning, but always did my best, sometimes thought it seemed that they were always a step ahead of me.  But after all the “ass chewing” (getting yelled at) and adjusting little by little, I stayed highly motivated.
After a while, however, it all started to get to me.  I didn’t know whether to take someone serious or not for comments.  It seemed that most of the time the criticism was direct at me.  It got so bad that I would have to leave and sometimes they would yell at me for leaving.  I became belligerent and I would hold a grudge.  But I kept my demeanor and character.

Soon things got bad.  I felt alone and scared, but I pushed through it with music and the hope of getting married to what is now my ex-fiancé back in Jersey. 

My Plt. Sgt., we’ll call him SSgt (staff sergeant) Alpha, was passionate about the corps, his understanding of the Marines and my problems led me to trust him and his judgment.  Because of the constant problems with my small unit leadership, he let me come directly to him for problems.  I looked up to him for advice and even mental protection. 

The Marines around me frightened me because of some instances. When I was criticized I would become defensive, Marines to get their point across would turn physical on me.  And most of the Marines either had a higher billet or were just a lot bigger or stronger than me, so I wouldn’t fight back.  I never said anything till now in this letter, because I knew it wouldn’t be enough.  It was my word against the rest of the Plt.  And anyone in the Plt. that actually like me as a friend would be put on the spot as well, so I just kept quiet in order to not lose what friendships I had.

SSgt. Alpha was a good man and Marine, but there was only so much he could do to protect me from more abuse and protect his job as Plt. Sgt.  Since he was there when the mockery wouldn’t stop and he would step in and stop for a little while, he became like a father to be, always making sure I was alright.  I will never forget him or what he did for me.

In the corps your time from when you first get into your first deployment you’re considered a boot or new join. So while as boots field-dayed the barracks all night.  The seniors would just watch and laugh; it was there little test [to] see who was good and who was bad. After you’re first deployment, things like this would stop and seniors would treat you with respect and dignity, this tradition on making sure Marines, while mentally disciplined, took place at this stage in the Marines.


(Faxed page 6 of 18)

You see Marines training never ends but grows stronger.  In the Fleet you have to prove yourself, somehow I never could to everyone.

Once again, it felt like high school “a popularity contest” or “clicks.”  I felt singled out and targets for seniors, but I pushed on.  We left for Afghanistan late that year, by now we were pumped, together, and excited.  I felt liked by mostly everyone again.  You see my interpretation of the corps was solely based on a partnership or family, “brothers in arms.”   I used to say my misconception would ultimately be my demise.

The corps doesn’t build those mindless sex machines that will drop you like a bad habit if you said something, insulting to them like you see in movies.  Instead, the Marines build professional combatants able to act in an instant, whether it be in combat, looking for and killing an enemy with little or not regard to them or in garrison, being squad away, polite and in shape.  But the corps also builds character, mental discipline, in a Marine’s case based on three pillars:  Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

First, “Honor,” a Marine is held up to a higher standard than your average civilian, his honor must remain clean . . . in other words honesty and a sense of duty to uphold the regulations of the Marine Corps are paramount.  If not that Marine can be punished harshly.  Honor in the Corps is not measured by the way a Marine fights, but how he conducts himself. 

Courage is another pillar. Courage not only applies to war but in garrison as well.  The way a Marine handles problems can bring fear to his subordinates or raise trust in his judgment.  To show initiative is one form of courage, taking responsibility is another, without it a Marine would surely die in combat or question fear.

Finally, the third and last pillar “Commitment.”  Every Marine feels a sense of loyalty to each other, country, the war, and politics.  The Marine Motto reflects this, which is “Semper Fideles,” (better known as “Semper Fi.”)  When translated from Latin to English, we get the words “always faithful.”  The meaning we get from these words is that a Marine would never leave a fallen comrade behind, their sense of loyalty to their country gives them the reason to fight, when in a firefight a Marine doesn’t just fight for freedom but to the Marines to his left and right. 

You ever battle a Marine about the politics of the current or passed wars, they will defend their brothers, sisters, and ancestors honor due to the commitment they swore when they joined the fight for freedom.

In my eyes these pillars instill one emotion that comes out of the heart of any situation. I call it love.  We are brothers.  We all feel this because we all endure the same crap in the Marines.  Standby, for watch, or working on a weekend sucks and we complain together and a brotherhood is born from it all.


(Faxed page 7 of 18)

We all remember recruit training, the screaming the shouting countless times referring to ourselves and others in the third person as “recruits,” requesting to piss or even drink water.  There philosophy on this is to break bad habits through culture shock, once “shattered” they build and mold you into a U.S. Marine that shows these three pillars. 

However, there are some that do not meet this criteria.  They are washed out of recruit training, recover and press on, or get separated from the Marines.

Getting back to me, we were on flight, Psyched, scared, and ready.  I remember thinking back at training and how far I had come as far as my own problems.  Like losing a piece of gear or walking away from my rifle.  I had overcome my problem of forgetting such things but had a “reputation,” and unfortunately it would follow me through my tour of duty in the combat zone.

You see, senior Marines would give the impression given to them by their sub-commanders.  This would in turn “help” so to speak what is called the weakest link.  (In the Marines they say “you’re only as strong as the weakest link.”)  It is there to single out Marines that are having problems, in turn instead of just his team helping him, its everyone in his entire platoon.  Unfortunately, sometimes this backfires, leaving little room for success.  In my case, it fueled anger because I would try my hardest but it always seemed not good enough. 

Now other senior Marines would talk to my senior like they where best friends, in fact in most cases they were, but their level of professionalism was immature.  Mocking their chain of command was an everyday thing and juniors like myself would take this as if it were training. I hated it because I respected all my higher ups and always showed it.  If you were different they would pick on them, (me for example.)  Of course, to show respect we juniors would stand at parade rest for our seniors, addressing them by rank, but I didn’t respect some of them and their leadership skills, but I would do what is expected of me anyway.

Now to get respect from fellow juniors since formalities and stance weren’t an issue, you’re ability as a Marine and how you got along with others was the way.  When I first joined the Fleet, they started picking on my immediately, but I just played a good sport and let it happen.  But then it got out of control.  Since these problems started, they disliked me or didn’t respect me, thus they didn’t trust me.

I was always bombarded with mocks and comments and then the pushing and shoving, so on so forth. I hated it because if there was a working party on something, I was almost always picked to go because they saw me as a being a “shit bag,” as I’ve been told plenty of times.


(Faxed page 8 of 18)

However, after awhile I noticed that to get away from the mocking, I would just go on working party.  I hated them because just to get a break I would have to go somewhere they were not.  I was happy when they weren’t around.  So I just tried to keep to myself, sometimes it worked, other times it wouldn’t.

Now we were operating out of a FOB (forward operating base) in Gardez, Afghanistan, through the cold winter.  I was to the point where I would just hang out with the Army guys.  That’s were I met SSgt. Matteson, a Comm Chief who helped me through the bull and his words and his ties to the higher ups.  He even witnessed as act of physical abuse to me and was proud on my part to be able to just walk away.  He even taught me all about Comm and the different radios we used to communicate in Afghanistan.  I would help him set-up Comm around the base on my spare time because it was fun and he always had good advise to give.

On a 30-day mission, I even took a watch on the radio to take a break from my fellow Marines and test to see if my “radio talk” was successfully planted in my head.  The shift was 9-hours by myself around a fire on top of a mountain that overlooked the main base our mortar team was protecting.  I loved the silence, sleep by day, radio by night.  It was fun and there was one crazy moment that I witnessed an attack on the base, very scary but interesting.  Before I would post to relieve everyone around the radio, I would make sure that it worked and that it was fully powered.

I would also hang out with the four Afghanistan Special Forces (as they like to be called) that stayed on the mountain with us.  They would feed me a warm and good meal that would help me stay awake.  I also learned phrases and short sentences for them to communicate.  Eventually, we all became friends, joking and calling each other names, and singing Pashua and Indian songs while drinking “shen chia” (green tea) in a stove-warmed room became the routine for me.  I even felt guilty because I am so lucky to have what I possessed at home and at my base (games, money, and electricity – a stable government.)   And all they had to show for their hard work and dedication was honor and the clothes on their back. 

I one day explained how I felt and Commander Zrahaba said, “Inshalla,” which means God willing, their faith and dedication to their family, friends, and beliefs gave me a great sense of respect for them and it humbled me to have known such brave and unselfish people.

In a separate occasion, I spoke with three village elders that told me about their experience in the Afghan Russian War. Their bravery astonished me as it to this day I still hold high the people I talked with in Afghanistan with high respect. 


(Faxed page 9 of 18)

They told me how much it honored them that I could speak little Pashua, Dari, and Pharsi, and how even through I’ve done so little for them as all the Marines have done that came to help these people if not more, that I took the time to speak to them and their tragic and honorable story.  When I heard then say this as they cooked all of us (Marines, about 40 of us) good and provided shelter to us in a snow storm where we had little cover, it angered me to think that some Marines that I served with can’t do the same or say the same as I they did.

Time went on and things stayed the same.  I thought once we got back, us juniors will be seniors and the mocking would stop.  Well it didn’t.  They degraded me in front of the new Marines, instead.  Sometimes the Marines who joined with me would mess up but everything was OK, no harm, no foul.  But when I screwed up, it wasn’t.  I felt like there was no hope left for me.  I was told to stand up for myself, [but] when I did I was just looked at as being belligerent and would just get into more trouble. 

I started to lose confidence in myself and others, and even lost motivation.  They didn’t trust me to do anything, anymore.  So I was stuck as an ammo man.  Now there’s no problem with this billet other than it’s the lowest ranking in the mortar team.  But I excelled in FDC (fire direction control) – a job used to get mortars on target by calculating distance, direction, and grid to data on the mortar sight adjustments deflection (side to side) and elevation (up and down.)  But they exploited me as being lazy and irresponsible, so they didn’t teach me more.  I loved FDC, it was what I was good at, and when they told me I would never make FDC, I lost all my motivation. 

I remember being able to estimate distance from the gun to a practice target or terrain feature that a higher-up would get wrong.  I could set and plot on a plotting board while all except one other could.

[Note, I listened to my son talking to an retired officer, his asking about the mortars that were being used today, their losing me in the conversation.  This took place as the officer came over and congratulated our son for his service in the Marines, at a time we treating or son to lunch at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville during the summer of 2005.)

Before I returned we-moved to another FOB, I was in charge of 20 workers that would come in to our base and build or dig.  I gained their respect very quickly and soon after it I had to stand post and wasn’t around to take charge of the twenty workers.  In the morning they would ask for me specifically.  Some Marines would even ask me to translate for the workers when they spoke and the interpreter wasn’t around.  I love the responsibility and the friendship I had made with them.

We finally left Afghanistan, SSgt. Alpha was moved to a different company.


(Faxed page 10 of 18)

I was so worried that the one thing that stood between me and the rest of the Plt., was him.  I remember after he left, we were piting [?] (physical activity) in formation and a Marine said, "You better shape up or else, remember you got no one left to protect you.”

It freaked me out and slowly I started a downward spiral to depression. I had little left when I met my girl friend [in Hawaii.]  She became everything to me, but it wasn’t enough.  My chain of command didn’t see that I was having problems, so I lost trust in them and secretly went to see a social worker on base once a week for help, advice, and encouragement.  We got a new Plt. Sgt. in.  He was nasty and heartless to me, so I felt like everyone was against me.  I felt as though they saw me as a parasite.

I didn’t understand, but finally when love [from my girlfriend] wasn’t enough, and therapy failed, I  started having ideologies of hurting Marines in my Plt.  I was sent to Tripler Army Medical Center where I stayed on 4B2 Psych ward.  I was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder) and received counseling  and follow-ups in the future.

I was discharged later that week and preceded to be transferred out of the current company into another battalion.  I felt free, the slate was wiped clean.  Little did I know my depression and anger lay dormant.  Overall, I was happy with the move from Kilo Company weapons Plt. To Lima Company weapons Plt.  It was a new setting, new Marines, and even switched my MOS to machineguns.  The machine guns made me a bit uneasy, but I had good Marines to teach me all about the new weapon system.  I still felt anxious and alone, but a sense of hope was restored.

[My girlfriend], however, would shake the new foundation I stood on.

I quit drinking and focused on her and my new job.  Weeks went by and I was going through trust issues with my new girlfriend, it would strengthen us but would ultimately lead to my self-destruction. 

My new command understood me (so I thought) and life was good.   I started to bust heads with my new roommate about his excessive compulsion behavior of being super clean and always right.  Now on some level that is what the Marine Corps is all about, he’s been in for three years now so he had more time in service.  However, he was a Lance Corporal just like me, but his foot had suffered an injury, so he pretty much skated out of everything.  He had time to square his uniform away his stuff clean to his expectations.  But he expected the same from me even though time before deployment was short and I had to focus on training.  Yes, I will admit that I dedicated time to my personal life, but who wouldn’t?  I left time for my training and I’ve learned a lot more then. 


(Faxed page 11 of 18)

Well when we started disagreeing and yelling at each other, Marines in the company had gotten a bad taste for me already.  [That’s because} I couldn’t hold a weapon due to clearance issues on me and everyone’s safety around me, so once again I felt singled out.  This would start a nasty trend that ended up making me stress out again.

I searched myself trying to be perfect that I wouldn’t mess up a lot.  The way I can explain is if I wrote a brand new song on [my] guitar and was told to play it in front of a bunch of people with little or no practice, I would stress out afraid to make a mistake. [Three words left out] 

The analogy  pertains to new weapon system.  You see a weapon system in the Marine Corps is identically magnified to small details like the weight, name, length, range, operation, and immediate or remedial action to clear the weapon system of malfunction.

At the School of Infantry (SOL) this training is implemented in fact with constant drills to master a weapon system that in time that Marine or team of Marines feel confident in their skill.  I didn’t have that time on that particular weapon system or even the clearance to touch it.  But I was put on the spot, I noticed myself just slipping away into depression once again. 

My condition started to deteriorate, little by little they all lost confidence in me.  My adjustment on my new meds [medication] threw me into chaotic mood swings when stressed out.  I was happy on minute, the next completely depressed, like my stomach was knotted.  I lost what little motivation I had left and had begun to take my anger out on everyone . . . friends, family, even my girlfriend.

The change was so drastic that I didn’t even notice the change in me.  The relationship started to dwindle in my eyes.  I didn’t realize that I was losing my temper and yelling at everyone.  I was markedly tired and depressed and it physically exhausted me.  I was either angry, depressed, or both.  The Corps just moved on dragging me not realizing that I was having a real problem.  Marines tried to tell me that they knew what I’m going through and have been through the same thing I [was] going through now.  It didn’t help but anger me since they don’t feel or ever felt how I felt now, all the time worrying about how I’m going to be better, always feeling sad, alone, or depressed.  By then I was getting jealous that my girlfriend was spending more time with her friends then me.

But in truth she wasn’t, I was so worried about losing her and needing to be with her that when she wasn’t around I got mad at her.  She was my escape, it wasn’t physical but emotional love I needed and that in my eyes, wasn’t getting.  I would just yell at her and make her feel guilty.  She was the type of girl that could take care of herself.  She was perfect and it scared and hurt me to think of her in someone else’s arms.  I had different ways to escape the stress of the Corps.   One was music and jamming out with friends, another was alcohol that I finally gave up thanks to her, [seven words left out] and finally her.


(Faxed page 12 of 18)

Sometimes I would have nightmares about getting in trouble, I mean it was that bad.  I felt cornered when my cries for help weren’t heard and help was slowly getting hard to find.  My girl left for Vegas to visit relatives.  But right before she left, my new Company held-me on a type of duty-restriction that I wasn’t allowed to set foot out of the barracks without an escort and not allowed leave the base at all, but no charge was given.

I found myself panicking because it was my last time to say goodbye because she was thinking of staying there for the remainder of my time in service.  I was frustrated and mad.  I needed to go back to the psych ward but instead SStg. Bravo, we’ll call him, let me stay at his place and cool down and talk.  It helped and I returned to the barracks in the morning. 

That following week I was finally charged with UA (unauthorized absence) and put on restriction.  I tried to explain, but I just don’t remember what the hell happened that night that made me wake in the mid-afternoon, scared and confused in my buddies care with in recollection to this day that got me seven hours UA.

I wasn’t sure what to do at first but I immediately contacted my Chief-of-Command as soon as I came to rational thought.  On top of it all that my girl was miserable in Vegas and needed to come back due to personal issue with her family.  Her family didn’t have enough money to fly her back so I paid.  I wanted to see her so bad just to make sure she was okay.  She was in such a bad mood in Vegas that we fought all the time [?] making up on the phone.  I was still restricted though, but didn’t care.  She ended up not coming when I flew her back the first day.  I was like “that’s fine, get you’re rest you’re exhausted. 

On the second day she was acting weird on the phone and it make me suspicious.  I got mad when she said that she wasn’t coming down and left a message on her phone that said she picked her friends over me once again.  That next morning my phone was flashing a message that indicated she had enough of my attitude and ended our relationship.  That strand of hope had been cut short and I felt like dieing.  Without hope I was nothing. Call it pathetic, but I clung onto her for emotional support.  I was angry and slipped into a state of carelessness.  I wanted to overdose on my meds, but I was going to wait 24 hours for one question. Why?  I didn’t realize what I had done to her through our relationship and it took a toll on both of us.  I was readmitted to the psych ward that next morning on suicide intent.  I was crying for help but no one answered.  They were too busy worrying about training to help my individual needs.

By this time, I was back in the psych ward wondering what is to become of me, at this point I was waiting to hear what would happen to me as far as the Corps goes.  My doctors at Triple say they recommended a 7-15 medical separation and another doctor said I am getting an administrative separation. 


(Faxed page 13 of 18)

The doctor a Triple counseled me and came to the conclusion that if I show you respect, I expect the same back.  Now in a way this is true not only for me but everyone, I just wanted to be treated like everyone else like a veteran, like a Marine.  The other doctor explained to me that my so-called “Narcissistic behavior” makes me feel like I deserve to be treated special or receive special treatment. 

My dad laughed at this saying that I’ve never shown what that doctor.  [I left a paragraph out because it doesn’t make sense.  Basically Matthew says here that same doctor had only met him one time before, so how could he say this?]

Well my unit left for California for training and I’m sitting here waiting to know what is to become of me, my x-[girlfriend], the Corps, and above all else the rest of my life.  I’ve found myself thinking how many more Marines suffered or are suffering my fate, what they did or are doing, how they are handling it, and how I we can stand tall again, not as a Marine, but as a man.

The corps’ values are instilled in me.  This is why I feel that I have failed to be a Marine.  My father is furious with the corps, he told me that I did my time no matter what and that I’ve done what most people dream about or couldn’t do.  He said, “Matthew, you didn’t fail the Marines.  The Marines failed you.”

I don’t know what to think anymore, but I feel as though I’ve been judged at a trial and my sentence of not being able to suck it is to punish me via separation.  This is why I feel guilty until proven innocent.

My reasoning to share this with you is not only my benefit (if it does) or because people may think I hate the corps, when in truth I love the corps and everything it stands for.  It’s because some policies need to be reexamined, more attention and understanding must be given.  You know, there are probably more Marines out there like me, who have similar problems, but instead of seeking help as I did, the either act on their emotions now killing themselves or others or later on when there’s nowhere else to go.

Everyone is unique, so some may feel scared and alone while others react completely different.  There should be ways for Marines to not feel less than themselves because of personal issues.  Instead a Marine should feel encouraged to seek help outside of the unit.  Understand that a Marine doesn’t want to be looked down upon for problems in the corps or personal issues.  [If the Marine is to not come to be respected by himself and others, than that Marine might deter from speaking for fear of looking weak and vulnerable -  (note this sentence edited for clarity.]

This story should not only [be] read by you, but by military leaders as small as a team leader or the base general. 


(Faxed page 14 of 18)

So when these signs are apparent, instead of putting a Marine on the spot and telling him to suck it up and be a man, they should listen to the problem and make the call whether his/her problems are going to be a problem.  (I say this because most Marines haven’t experienced life outside of their town or house, so this life is all they’ve come to know. If they feel they have failed it, it will rip them apart.)

Remember if you’re not sure or acting tough, your best guess may kill that Marine’s heart, soul, or even his life.  You wouldn’t best guess a mortar on to target.  You would want an estimate and make corrections from there.  Remember nothing is perfect and change is good at times.  Remember also that a Marine is not measured solely on how he acts or looks.  It’s his passion of life that makes him a man. 

Strengths and weaknesses are what make us unique and human.  To judge otherwise, which I believe happened to me, is why I feel guilty until pronounced innocent.


(See Matthew’s medical documents to follow, 2 pages of 2 for a total of 18 pages.)





"Freedom is Knowledge"