Matt is a quiet, behind the scenes man who prefers the spotlight fall on other, what he would call, more worthy individuals. In spite of this, and due to his exemplar volunteer work, he has in the past been recognized several times by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82. This includes the Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award and the President’s Award. During Matt’s 25-plus years of service to Veterans, he has been called upon to do many things; here are just a few:
- – Founding Secretary, Vietnam Veterans of America: one of 6 Vietnam-era veterans who formed Nassau County Chapter #82 in February 1982.
- – Founding member, Town of Oyster Bays’ Veteran Advisory Council, over a decade.
- – Founding member and current Secretary of the Bethpage Community Foundation., over a decade.
- – For 25-years Matt has publicized veteran causes and deeds through the thousands of photos he has taken and the many hundreds of articles and captioned photos he had published in local newspapers.
By the way, and for the record, Matt served as Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam-era, 1964-1970.
Walter C. Schmidt, VSO CPA: During his 30+ years as a CPA in public practice his name became synonymous with computers, the Internet, and technology. And while today a computer and Walt are still never too far apart, since 2004 he has been the Director of the Town of Oyster Bay’s Veteran Services (36 communities in Eastern Nassau County, Long Island, NY) and a VA nationally accredited Veteran Service Officer (VSO) under the auspices of Vietnam Veterans of America. His own “still a work-in-progress” journey through the VA health system (a result of his three tours in Vietnam — Oct ’67 to Dec ’69 as a “Mekong Delta, Brown Water Navy River Rat” — and contact with Agent Orange) over twenty-five years later finds him a VA classified “Service-Connected” “Catastrophically Disabled” tetraplegic with only partial use of his right arm and hand. Nevertheless, he work a full five-days-a-week (from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm — with more than a few weekends thrown in to boot). When asked for the current “words of the day,” he quickly will tell you: “Let No Veteran Ever Stand Alone!” Unfortunately, requiring his rather specialized wheelchair at all times, coupled with other daily-demands made on him by his tetraplegia (which demands are tended to by his caregiver-wife), has virtually curtailed his travels outside of Nassau County. However, there is always the Internet… He writes a regular Veteran-Expert column for LongIsland.com, maintains a variety of Veteran related WordPress blogs, and has been a computer hobbyist since the mid-’70s.