U.S. Senate Approves Bill to Name Slatersville Post Office After Fallen Soldier Spc. Matthew Turcotte
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate unanimously 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 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 at Fort Carson in Colorado.
Late last night, the full U.S. Senate approved the measure (S. 2847), authored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, to name the postal facility after the fallen soldier, who grew up nearby and played high school football just four miles down the road from the post office that will bear his name. An identical measure (H.R. 5061) sponsored by Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which will need to take up and pass the Senate bill so it can be signed into law by the President.
Matthew Turcotte was a lifelong resident of North Smithfield. He enlisted in the U.S. Army while attending North Smithfield High School, 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.
“Matthew was a dedicated soldier, promising young man, and proud son of Rhode Island. He died in the line of duty and naming this post office after him is a small token of our enduring gratitude for his faithful service to our nation. He upheld and defended the values we hold dear and this will be a lasting tribute to his service, sacrifice, and love of community,” said Senator Reed. “We salute Matthew and the Turcotte family.”
“Spc. Turcotte was a patriot and a proud son of North Smithfield who we tragically lost long before his time,” said Senator Whitehouse. “I hope the Spc. Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office will serve as an enduring reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude our community and our nation owe Spc. Turcotte and his family.”
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.