Matthew Michael Brennan was born on February 3, 1989 in Escondido, Ca. to Michael and Maria Brennan.
The family moved to Oregon when Matt was 6 years old. He was raised with his seven siblings, Scott, Jared, Christina, Ariel, Aiden, Sophia, and Isabella. Matt attended Wilsonville Elementary School and Tualatin High School. He graduated in 2007 from the Oregon Youth Challenge Program (OYCP).
In 2009, Matt enlisted in the Oregon National Guard. He was activated in 2010 and shipped out to the Middle East where he served honorably as an infantryman for 11 months, defending his nation’s freedom.
Matt was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Matt felt great pride in serving his country, and always carried that sense of honor with him wherever he went. When he was in high school, he enjoyed participating in the sports programs that were offered. He lettered for two or three years in football. He also liked basketball, sunshine, and fast cars.
Though he had an aversion to sharks, Matt loved taking trips to the beach. His family says that Matt would “walk on water” if he heard anybody mention “shark” while he was swimming. He would even avoid getting a foot wet for the rest of the day following such an incident. Of all the things that Matt loved in life, he cherished his family the most. He had a strong bond with his brothers and sisters, and always asked how they were doing no matter where he was. Despite his tough outer appearance, his family remembers Matt to be warm, loving, and gentle. He had a “heart of gold.”
Matt passed away on July 16, 2011 in Portland, Or. following a courageous battle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Matt is survived by his loving family, Michael and Maria Brennan; Scott Brennan, Jared Flanders, Christina Brennan, Ariel Brennan, Aiden Brennan, Sophia Marie Brennan, and Isabella Brennan; James and Esther Wilkerson; and Judy Brennan. His memory will be cherished forever.
Matthew Michael Brennan lost his battle with PTSD, July 16, 2011. He was 22 years old.