WASHINGTON, DC – On January 27, 2004, Rhode Island native Matthew J. August, a decorated U.S. Army Captain, was leading 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division attached to the 82nd Airborne on a mission to seek and destroy a cache of insurgent munitions sixty miles west of Baghdad, Iraq when they were ambushed by improvised explosive devices and small arms fire, killing Captain August, his first sergeant, and the driver and gunner on his Humvee.
As the 15 year anniversary of Captain August’s death approaches, U.S. Senator Jack Reed is leading the effort to offer a lasting salute to this brave Rhode Islander by naming the U.S. Postal Service facility located at 20 Ferry Road in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, as the “Captain Matthew J. August Post Office.”
Today, the U.S. Senate approved legislation (S. 3414) introduced by Senator Reed and cosponsored by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to name the post office for the late Captain August, who was just 28 years old when he was killed in action.
Matthew August grew up in North Kingstown, went to Davisville Middle School and graduated from Bishop Hendricken High School in 1993 before attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduating from West Point in 1997, he married fellow West Point graduate, Captain Maureen Innes, on June 6, 1998.
During his career, Matthew earned the Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal – with two oak leaves; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Army Service and Overseas Service ribbons. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal; Iraqi Campaign and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medals; and Combat Action Badge.
“Throughout his life and military career, Matthew August put others before himself and embodied selfless service to community and country. He was an extraordinary soldier and leader. Fifteen years after his passing, his legacy and example continues to inspire and sustain us,” said Senator Reed, a fellow West Point graduate. “We are so grateful to the August family for their many contributions to the community, for making Matthew the man he was, and for sharing him with us. Dedicating this post office in his honor is a fitting and enduring tribute to Captain August’s courage, devotion, heroism, and sacrifice.”
Captain August is survived by his parents, Donna and Richard August; his older brother Brigadier General Mark R. August (USAF); and his younger sister, Melanie Cargilo.
Now that the bill has passed the U.S. Senate, it must also be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Congressman Jim Langevin and cosponsored by Congressman David Cicilline.
In order to become the law, the bill must be passed by both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and be signed into law by the President.