Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kinney -- Finding his second act
By Annette P. Gomes, Army Recovery Care ProgramFebruary 19, 2020
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Dubbed the "Lone Star" state, Texas is full of history, culture and is ranked fourth when it comes to the number of military enlistees. It's where retired Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kinney began to dream about creating his own military history."My grandfathers served in WWII and the Korean War. I knew very early on that I would enlist. I wanted to further my education and I knew the Army would help me accomplish this goal. I also fell in love with my military occupational code -- becoming an Army medic."After enlisting in 1997 and serving four years as a medic, Kinney decided it was time to enter the civilian sector. The move however would be short lived, as Kinney decided to return to the military following the events of September 11th."I was drawn back into the military because I knew there would be a need for my military skills (as a medic) and if not me, then who? I came back in February of 2002 and joined a unit that was going to deploy for the invasion of Iraq. After my second deployment, I went to school to be a flight medic." Kinney said.However, after suffering several traumatic brain injuries, physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder from his deployments, Kinney, medically retired in April of 2018 out of Fort Hood, Texas's Warrior Transition Battalion. While at the WTB, Kinney took advantage of the Career and Education Readiness Program to help his career as an entrepreneur focusing on what he knows best: medical support.Kinney founded a company that specializes in tailoring tactical and medical training courses, to the needs of clients operating across the spectrum of military, emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement."I wanted to bring my medical expertise to the company. I had my business coming into the WTB and CER was an avenue to let me continue doing that," Kinney said. "My Advocate, Joy Pasco, was the one who encouraged and advocated for me to be able to continue to work," Kinney said.Although he credits his support team for his success -- he says it's his inner strength and the values he learned in the military that made the difference."Life gets hard sometimes and nothing is easy, but it is obtainable. As Soldiers we're trained to help rescue, treat and save lives. I'm also very stubborn and I don't give up, I always persevere."The Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.