Matthew Garvey enlisted with the Marines when he turned 18. He retired after 10 years as a sergeant and squad leader with the elite “2nd Anglico.” He had served in Beirut, Desert Storm and Desert Shield. A fellow marine wrote: “all we wanted to do was to be like him. At the end, if we were close, we were better Marines and better people.”
In 1995 he joined the FDNY, remaining an active Marine reservist. In September of 2001 he had just been accepted to law school. His awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Good Conduct Medal, the Southwest Asia Medal, the Reserve Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), and the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon. He also earned the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia (Gold Jump Wings) and was certified as a Jump Master. After 9/11, Garvey was posthumously awarded another Navy & Marine Corp medal by the Secretary of Navy.