SENTINEL MATT WEBSTER
Corporal, US Marine Corps | Master’s Degree in Global Leadership
Sentinel Matt Webster, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a deployment in Iraq, initially had a relatively smooth transition from the military to civilian life. “I had very little trouble adjusting to my new roles. I received my undergraduate degree in less than four years and quickly found a job in the workforce,” he explains. However, several years after his separation from the Marine Corps, mental and psychological issues started to display themselves. “When they hit, they hit like a ton of bricks.”
As part of dealing with the lingering issues from his time in combat, Matt decided to go back to school. However, with a young child and another one on the way, pursuing his degree was no easy task. “For 12 months, I worked 60 hours a week and went to school full-time,” Matt says. “My wife also enrolled in school, worked part-time at our church, and created a business during this time. We were full to the brim with things to worry about.” With the added reality of Matt’s GI Bill running out, things were not looking too great. “It created a great deal of stress in our family,” he explains. “That is, until SOF came to the rescue.”
Sentinels of Freedom helped Matt finance his last semester at school and provided him with financial planning, thus allowing him to focus on his education and graduate with honors. “Without this assistance, I would have either not completed this degree program or would have had to take on a significant amount of debt to do so,” he says. “I truly believe the relief of this burden allowed me to excel in my coursework all the way to the end.” And now that he has earned his master’s degree in global leadership, Matt looks forward to advancing his career with his current company and one day starting his own business.
“If I can sum up what SOF has meant to and instilled in me it is this: Never give up on yourself, even when the cards are stacked against you. There is always a way to achieve your dreams, you just need to be willing to look and work for it. When you come across a roadblock, look for every feasible way around or over it. Lean into those who care for you and value you – without them you will never reach your full potential.”