Pictured: Lauren Tomkiewicz, Captain Matthew Tomkiewicz and their beloved dog, Kevin Bacon.
Matthew, known as Matt to those closest to him, was an amazing husband, son, friend and pilot. Words will never be able to express the pure joy that he brought with him into every room he entered. Matt was a true Midwest man, he loved his wife, his family - especially his mom - loved his dogs and definitely enjoyed a cold one on those hot summer days.
He met the love of his life, Lauren, while on Christmas vacation with his family at Siesta Key Beach, FL. Ironically, the two had lived just 10 minutes away from each other most of their childhood. Lauren dedicated her life to Matt. They met after Matt found his passion in flying and joined the Marine Corps. She knew the life he planned would be full of uncertainties but found comfort in knowing they'd conquer those uncertainties together.
While Matt was away for training in 2017, they decided to get their fur-baby Kevin Bacon. I know you are already asking about the name - Lauren LOVES the movie Footloose and Matt LOVES dogs with human names - so, Kevin Bacon was the obvious choice. Kevin is Lauren's protector and best bud whenever Matt was away. While he may appear small, he takes up a lot of room in both Matt and Lauren's hearts.
What some know now, is that upon Matt's expected return from Norway in April 2022 he and Lauren were going to start their family. Matt always wanted to be a dad, and he would have been the BEST dad. Lauren and Matt knew raising a family would be difficult during his deployments so they waited to ensure they could be together while raising their children. This dream was shattered among many when we heard about Matt's untimely death during the crash.
Lauren says she will never be able to truly represent Matt in the way he should be. He was an extraordinary man that words, acts, philanthropy will never truly replace. So, in the midst of her grief she made it her mission to honor him in every way she can. She plans on using monies raised through the MJT Memorial Fund to support children, future aviators, future Marines and much more.
Please know, your freedom is not free. There are men and women who put their lives on the line for YOU every single day. Do not take your time for granted. Honor Matt today by spreading joy in every room you walk into.