Congress Approves Bill to Name Slatersville Post Office After Fallen Soldier Spc. Matthew Turcotte
Turcotte, of North Smithfield, was serving with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division when he was killed in August of 2017 during a live-ammunition training exercise
WASHINGTON, DC – Congress today approved legislation to name the U.S. postal facility located at 42 Main Street in Slatersville, Rhode Island, as the “Specialist Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office.” Turcotte, of North Smithfield, was killed in August of 2017 during a live-ammunition training exercise at Fort Carson in Colorado while serving with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division.
The bill, which previously passed the U.S. Senate in July, now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
The legislation (S. 566), authored by U.S. Senator Jack Reed and cosponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in the Senate and authored in the House by Congressman David Cicilline and cosponsored by Congressman Jim Langevin (H.R. 1552), officially names the postal facility after the fallen soldier, who grew up near the post office that will bear his name and played high school football just four miles down the road.
Matthew Turcotte was a lifelong resident of North Smithfield. He enlisted in the U.S. Army while attending North Smithfield High School (NSHS), where he was a co-captain on the football team. After graduating from NSHS in 2015, he reported for basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia and began his military career.
Turcotte was just 20 years old when he was tragically killed during a training accident on August 23, 2017. During his time in the military, he deployed overseas once, to Kosovo. Spc. Turcotte earned numerous awards and medals for his service, including: the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, and NATO Medal.
“We are forever grateful for Matthew’s devoted service to the nation. He died in the line of duty and naming this post office after him is a way to honor and remember him. As a soldier, Matthew upheld and defended the values we hold dear. This will be a lasting tribute to his service, sacrifice, and love of his community,” said Senator Reed. “We salute Matthew and the Turcotte family.”
“Spc. Turcotte served his nation bravely and honorably,” said Senator Whitehouse. “The Spc. Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office will stand as an enduring reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude our community and our nation owe to Matthew and the Turcotte family.”
“We will never be able to repay Matthew Turcotte’s sacrifice in service of our great nation, but we can ensure that his name continues to be honored and remembered,” said Rep. Jim Langevin. “Matthew served our country with great courage and distinction. May his memory inspire Rhode Islanders for generations to come.”
“The decision to live one’s life in service of others is never an easy one, and Matthew’s commitment to a life of service represented the very best of our nation – and Rhode Island. For his patriotism, for his love of family and community, and for his dedication to the principles we as Americans hold dear, we salute Matthew, and dedicate this post office in his honor,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I know that Matthew’s legacy will continue to inspire residents of North Smithfield and all Rhode Islanders.”
Matthew Turcotte is buried at Inman Family Cemetery in Burrillville. He is survived by his widow, Megan, his parents, Raymond and Liza, his sisters, Kayla and Paige, and an extended family of loved ones.
After the bill is signed into law by President Biden, the U.S. Postal Service, the Congressional Delegation, and Slatersville officials will schedule a special ceremony and plaque dedication this spring.