Warrior Games Profile - Matthew Burke

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(Editor's Note: From September 28 to October 4, more than 40 athletes representing the Air Force will be in Colorado Springs competing in the 2014 Warrior Games. This is a profile of one of those athletes, providing a behind-the-scenes look at who they are and the sport they represent. Note: Some profile information in the graphics may be outdated due to recent birthdays or events. The most current player information is below.)


Name: Master Sgt. Matthew Burke (Ret.)

Team: Invictus and Warrior Games
Sports: Swimming, Rowing and Archery, Track and Field
DOB: 03 July 1979
Birthplace: Inverness, FL
Hometown: Webster, FL
Current Residence: Newberry, FL
Injury: PTSD, Cervicalgia (compressed C-spine), Fibromyalgia, and Neck/Back injury

Personal Profile:

Retired MSgt Matthew Burke enlisted into the Air Force in Nov 2000 as an Aerospace Maintenance Craftsman. In May 2005, he retrained to become a Recruiter. After recruiting, he volunteered to return to his career field and get back into the fight. During a major insurgent attack in Afghanistan, MSgt Burke led his team to secure defensive fighting positions. MSgt Burke ran through an onslaught of mortars and RPG’s to locate a missing person. In the process, he was injured by a misaligned cement bunker which struck the apex of his helmet, crushing his C-spine. MSgt Burke went on to ensure the safety of his troops throughout another 15 attacks on his instillation. Due to his injuries, MSgt Burke was medically retired from service and now enjoys farming and serving his community alongside his family. His family is developing a non-profit organization that focuses on restoring families, feeding the hungry, and empowering the underprivileged in his community. He continues his recovery through horticulture therapy.

Personal/Professional Achievements:

Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal (4)
Top Recruiter (3)
Master Recruiter
Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
BS in Criminal Justice
MSA in Youth Ministry
Currently working toward Ph.D. in Public Policy & Admin with concentration in Emergency Management 2014 Invictus Games Medalist – Gold (Rowing) and Silver (Swimming)