On November 9, in honor of Veteran’s Day, Matt Helm ’90 and Nick Morton ’02 spoke about their U.S. military experiences to Classes I-IV in the Fitzgibbons Convocation Center.
Matt attended West Point and graduated in 1994 with a degree in engineering physics. Then, he attended the Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. As a U.S. Army Officer, he achieved the rank of Captain and served 1994–1999. He was assigned to the 1st Armor Division in Germany and served as a Battalion and Brigade Intelligence Officer; he was deployed to Kuwait in 1995 and to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996 and 1998.
Matt was among the first U.S. Army soldiers deployed to Bosnia as part of an advance reconnaissance team. He led intelligence-gathering missions in search of Serbian war criminals General Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. He was among the first U.S. Army soldiers to enter the Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica after its fall to Serbian forces in 1995, after which he briefed then-NATO Commander, General Welsey Clark, on the status of Muslim and Croat refugee returns in Bosnia. In addition, Matt has trained Polish and Hungarian officers in preparation for the expansion of NATO in 1998; he was awarded three U.S. Army Commendations Medals.
In March 2002—three months before his Milton graduation—Nick Morton enlisted in the Army Reserve at the rank of Private E-1. He entered active duty for Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, in October 2002. He was promoted to Private Second Class (E-2) in January 2003.
At Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, in March 2003, he received Advanced Individual Training He graduated as the ‘Distinguished Honor Graduate’ (first in class) from Advanced Individual Training and then returned to Reserve status.
In September 2003, he enrolled at the University of Maryland, but he withdrew in May 2004 to begin pre-mobilization training. Matt completed Special Operations Forces Communication course in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and, in June 2004, left for Kuwait and entered active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom that fall.
While in Baghdad as a Civil Affairs Specialist, he held positions as a member of the Battalion S-3 and as the Battalion Commander’s Personal Security Detail (PSD).
In March 2005, he was promoted to Sergeant (E-5) and, in June 2005, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day in commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, is the anniversary of the ending of World War I. Veterans Day, which honors living veterans, is observed annually on November 11.