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SFC Christopher M. Poer


 

Sergeant First Class Christopher Matthew “Matt” Poer was born on 4 September 1971 in New Castle, Indiana. Matt was a 1990 graduate of New Castle Chrysler High School where he played football. He then went on an attended Ball State University.

SFC Poer began his Special Forces career in 1999 serving as an 18C Engineer Sergeant at 5th Special Forces Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Following the attacks of 9-11 he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Notably he played a key role on the mission to kill or capture Mullah Omar in January of 2002. For his actions on this mission he was award the Bronze Star with V device for gallantry while single handily fighting off a counterattack by Mullah Omar’s bodyguards. SFC Poer went on to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as a Master Breecher for the 5th Special Forces group crisis response hostage rescue team.

After being recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency SFC Poer left active duty military service and served in a counter-terrorism capacity throughout the world. SFC Poer left the CIA and joined A Co in early 2008 in order to be closer to his family who lived in New Hampshire. SFC Poer served with distinction during A Co’s 2009 deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan.

Following this trip, SFC Poer required surgeries to repair service-related shoulder injuries. Unfortunately, these surgeries were complicated by an extensive staph infection that spread from his arm through his back and legs. This resulted in his transfer to the Warrior Transition Unit at the West Point, NY. While assigned this unit, SFC Poer made the most of his time. He worked with the United States Military Academy Department of Military Instruction and guest lectured on Ethics in War classes given to cadets. SFC Poer also served as a cadet mentor and earned a Master’s degree from Framingham State University.

SFC Poer battled PTSD and alcoholism and he lived in constant pain from injuries and surgery complications. Following his departure from the Warrior Transition Unit in 2014, the effects of these daily battles compounded. His substance abuse complicated the dosage of his VA prescribed PTSD medications. Teammates and friends intervened multiple times to keep him heathy. These issues came to a head on April 18, 2018. SFC Poer was in Colorado to receive a PTSD canine who was specially trained to detect on-coming seizures, a condition that Matt suffered greatly from. This highly trained and expensive canine was full paid for by the Task Force Dagger, a foundation supporting wounded, ill or injured Special Operations service members and their families. A kennel employee called the police due to SFC Poer’s erratic behavior likely caused by interactions of incompatible medications. In a state of excited delirium, the incident escalated and SFC Poer was tased by the police. He experienced heart failure and died on the scene.

SFC Matt Poer is survived by his daughter Makensie Jane(19) and his son Gavin Matthew (17); parents, Doug and Sherry Poer and sister, Ashley Poer. Makense’s high school senior project was the effect of PTSD on veteran’s families. Posthumously SFC Poer’s brain was donated to Task Force Dagger to be studied for traumatic brain injury and the effects of blast effect on the human brain.

SFC Poer fast decline and premature passing had a great impact on the members of A Co who witnessed his decent from a pinnacle special operator. A Co 2-19 does not shy away from the way SFC Poer’s life ended. He was a warrior who did everything his country asked him to do and more. He is a casualty of war just as much as if he had been killed on the battlefield. He will always be remembered by the Special Forces Soldiers of A Co as a warrior’s warrior, who dared greatly and soldiered intensely. SFC Poer's death is a reminder of the need to care for our warriors when they leave the battlefield.

Matt is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 55, Grave 3915.