US Marine Corporal Matthew Bowman received the Glenn Bill Wounded Warrior of the Year award at the 2016 Helping Hands for Freedom Heroes Gala. This award is given to someone who exemplifies bravery, puts their life on the line, and is willing to sign a piece of paper that says, ‘I am willing to put my life on the line’.
Matt was a #2 ranked wrestler from Lafayette, Indiana who had every division 1 and big 10 school wanting to give him full ride scholarships. He turned down a $120,000 scholarship to serve his country as a United States Marine.
Matthew knew he was doing the right thing when he joined the United States Marine Corp. He was proud to be a marine. While on patrol, he stepped on an explosive device which resulted in the loss of both his legs and 2 of his fingers upon impact. Mr. Bowman became a double amputee. Some of his brothers say he tied his legs off to save himself. It did not keep him down. After many, many surgeries, he finally walked again.
Matthew and his family are inspirations. His wife stood by his side as his injuries healed. On a momentous day in their household, Matt and his little baby boy took their first steps together on the same day.
Matthew is still involved with wrestling to this day. He can still be found pinning students down as he coaches his Jr. High wrestling team.
When given the award, Matthew said, “I’d like to thank Helping Hands for Freedom. I know there are many other wounded warriors who deserve this as well. Thank you everybody.”