Israel Matos, Marine Brother, Survivor, Instructor

 In Veterans

On the 15th of June in 2011, Sgt Israel Matos was squad leader for the E1 Millimeter Mortar Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regimental Combat Team 8 working in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sgt Matos and his team were tasked with securing an important bridge. As they moved forward, they came under attack from the enemy that used a donkey laden with 60- 80 pounds of explosives. That same enemy utilized a motorcycle as a decoy.

According to his Navy and Marine Corps commendation Medal citation, Sgt Matos recognized immediately what was going to happen, and ordered his Marines into the bunker in the search area. He stood between them and the insurgent action. If they didn’t move quick enough, he picked them up and pitched them into the bunker as the blast occurred. He ended up with a shattered tibia and right knee, but he saved lives that day.

A photo from Afghanistan
A female engagement team that Israel and his team led the day before he was wounded.

Israel was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2013, and became the recipient of a Purple Heart. He moved to Florida in 2014.

VA Issues

Eighteen surgeries and three procedures to clean out infection later, Israel (nicknamed Izzy), is still fighting for his health in 2019. He underwent a procedure that doctors refer to as a “limb salvage.” That’s a surgical procedure which “replaces the bone and reconstructs a functional limb by using a metal implant, a bone graft from another person (allograft), or a combination bone graft and metal implant.”

But it didn’t fix the pain in his knee.

The VA has told him his knee is a ‘complicated issue,’ though he needs a replacement. VA doctors inject him with Synvisc, a highly expensive synthetic medication, which, though touted as pain relief, has not taken away the pain. For the last nearly 2 years, he had the injections until finally, he decided to circumvent the VA, and ask TriCare for help.

They are working to get him into the original doctor in Texas who helped patch him up after the suicide bombing. Hopefully, that will take care of the problem, since they are injuries sustained in combat. It does, however, illustrate the problems with single payer healthcare (socialism). To milk the system, doctors can just keep the patient doing the same things over and over again to no avail.

Can’t Keep a Good Man Down

Meanwhile, Israel Matos runs a nonprofit to help other veterans. A friend and former law enforcement officer, Bill Orndorf, helped Israel get started with Operation Veteran Outdoors.

“Bill looked out for me after deployment… I know I’m helping my fellow veterans now.” Israel Matos

Operation Veteran Outdoors is designed to give veterans a sense of peace by fishing, hunting, field trips, or just camaraderie together for special events. And though it may sound like other nonprofits who do that, it’s most certainly different and here’s one reason why:

Israel is an instructor and one of the founding members of DMIG: Defensive Marksmanship Instructor Group. They train law enforcement, military, contractors, and civilians. The instructors, including Matos, have a combined 20 years of experience.

DMIG training

Israel tells us that the training on carbines August 24-25 would be an example of classes that police should attend. But how to do that when specialized firearms training is so expensive? They have it worked out: When people donate to Operation Veteran Outdoors, a portion of that money can be refocused to pay for police or others to attend shooting class sessions.

Israel Matos with Boon and…wait…who’s that guy in the middle?

Dave “Boon” Benton of Benghazi fame has partnered with Israel for certain courses and free training for law enforcement.

We wish Israel success in all that he does!

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