Master Sgt. Tobie Matherne: An Unsung Hero

Posted: 5:25 PM Feb 27, 2008
Last Updated: 7:56 PM Feb 27, 2008
Reporter: Meghan Kulig
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Master Sgt. Matherne has spent half his life serving with the U.S. Marine Corps. He says his time with the Marines has been less of a job…and more of a privilege.

"I just really appreciate the fact that I make a difference,” Matherne said. “I appreciate that I get to go out and do these things."

Throughout his career, Matherne says the Marines have given him the opportunity to zigzag the globe.

"Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Guam."

He also served as a machine gunner during the Gulf War and spent several years with an intelligence division.

"While I was there, I went to the LA riots and participated in that and had a chance to work with the Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff with their gang task force, which was just incredible,” Matherne said.

But, Master Sgt. Matherne says his participation during the invasion of Fallujah in August of 2004 marked the culmination of his career.

"When we first got there, sure everyone's looking at Iraq and it's in the news, but when you get there and you see the Iraqi people, they're real people, just like we are. Most of the people are just good people who want to live, raise their families, and they welcomed us."

These days, Matherne works as a recruiter in Minneapolis. And, despite his obvious dedication to the Corps, he says it’s his wife, Heather, who’s the real hero.

"When I deployed, she stayed home,” he said. “She took care of the kid. She took care of the finances. She took care of the house. She made sure that everything back home was taken care of, so all I had to do was come home."

Master Sgt. Matherne will retire from the Marine Corps in November of this year. He’s not exactly sure what he’ll do when his time is up, but he says he’d like to work with our country’s veterans.