"Our" Marine Lance Corporal Matthew J. Determan
was involved in a tragic training accident while on deployment with the 15 Marine Expeditionary Rapid Assault Unit at Bellows Air Force Station, Waimanalo, Hawaii. Matt was deployed with the USS Essex Assault Carrier Group. Twenty two Marines where in an Osprey aircraft, simulating assault rapids, when it crash landed. Another Marine, Lance Corporal Joshua Barron died of his injuries, and many other Marines were seriously injured. The USS Essex is continuing to carry on its mission, protecting our freedom and providing humanitarian help where needed. From a very young age, Matt wanted to become a Marine. He achieved this goal through hard work and dedication to his brothers in the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. Lance Corporal Determan's awards include the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Matt was raised in Tucson and Ahwatukee, Arizona by Charlesa and Michael Determan, both Air Force Veterans. His passing is especially heartbreaking for his brother, Taylor and sister, Ashley who where more soulmates than mere siblings. Our love for Matt is as pure as love can be, he will be with us always. We take comfort in the fact that we will all see Matt soon enough. Because our time on earth is short, we must make each day count. After this tragic accident, we find comfort knowing Matthew's organ donations gave new life to four recipients. Countless others have sustained life through Matt's donations from his vessel here on earth. Knowing this, we all see a light during this time of sorrow. Matt's 21st birthday was May 12th, and on the May 19, 2015, Matt passed on to a higher power to be of service to none other than Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Matt's last message to us, posted before his deployment was, "See you on the flip side America. Nothing but love goes out to all my friends and family till I see you again, be safe and keep my brothers in the 3/1 in your prayers".
Matt is survived by his family: brother, Taylor Determan; sister, Ashley and her fiance, Ray, their baby son, Dominik Michael Ortiz. Grandparents, Dick and Mary Determan; grandmother, Leanna Howard; grandfather, Jack Moberg and his wife, Susan and aunt, Kelela Moberg. Matt's uncle, Mark Determan; aunt and uncle, Colleen and Eddie Soto; aunt and uncle, John and Kelly Determan; cousin, Alex.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Semper Fi Fund in the name of Lance Corporal Matt Determan, Semerfifund.org/donate. Checks may be made payable to: Semper Fi Fund, Collage Blvd. Ste., PMD 609, Oceanside, CA, 92057. Matt's Memorial will be held Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at our Lady of the Desert Church, Tucson, AZ.