August 11, 2012

Matt Manoukian

Captain Matt Manoukian, age 29, of Los Altos Hills, California, died on August 10, 2012, in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

He was shot by a man in an Afghan Police Officer's uniform, who fled the scene. 

Matt was a member of the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion based at Camp Pendleton. Matt joined the Marine Corps about seven years ago. He was on his fourth combat deployment — including his second in Afghanistan.

Five years ago, Matt had been involved in a blast from an improvised explosive device, giving him a serious concussion. Despite that, he came to the aid of one of his men, quickly applying a tourniquet to his leg that saved the soldier's life.

Matt had wanted to become a Marine even as a kid. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2005 with a degree in political science. A year later, he attended officer candidate school in Quantico, Virginia, and then infantry school in 2007. 

Angels of God, pray for Matt
Family members stated that Matt had managed to learn Arabic and was working on several projects to aid the Afghans including opening up a school, setting up a police station, setting up a courthouse, and even teaching little kids to play baseball. 

Matt had previously received a Purple Heart. 

Matt was looking forward to leaving the Marines at the end of the year. He was planning to attend law school in the fall of 2013. 

Family members describe Matt as fearless and their hero. 

Matt is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his parents, Socrates Manoukian and Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian; and his brothers, Martin and Michael. 

Let us pray that Matt Manoukian is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

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