Pictured: Matt Tomkiewicz with his wife and their beloved dog, Kevin Bacon.
Pictured: Matt Tomkiewicz with his father, mother, brother and sister.
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, his dogs and definitely enjoyed a cold one on those hot summer days. He loved aviation, and actually got his pilot's license before his driver's license. He was the world's biggest Purdue Basketball and Indianapolis Colts fan.
Matt without a doubt learned his work ethic from his dad. Matt wanted to emulate his father in more ways than one, but wanted to be that strong provider for his own family. Matt got his loving heart from his mom. While he was a bad-ass military pilot, he also had a gentle side to him that came from his amazing mother. The bond he shared with his brother went way beyond friendship. He looked up to his big brother in many ways, and was lucky to have a strong role model. His protective nature came from having his little sister. He was incredibly proud of her, especially for pursuing her dream of helping animals (which he loved) through Vet school.
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.
The Tomkiewicz family knows that they 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 their grief they made it their mission to honor him in every way they can.
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.
Pictured: Second Lieutenant Tomkiewicz in front of a T-6B during flight school.
Pictured: Captain Matthew Tomkiewicz flying an MV-22B on deployment.
Matthew Tomkiewicz joined the Marine Corps in 2015, after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation from Purdue University. He attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 2016. Upon his graduation from OCS, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and subsequently attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA.
He then began flight school in Pensacola, FL flying the T-6B. He moved to Milton, FL to fly the TH-57B/C and then moved to Corpus Christi, TX to fly the T-44C. Lieutenant Tomkiewicz was officially designated as a Naval Aviator in May of 2019 and was selected to begin the MV-22B pipeline.
Following his winging, he checked into VMMT-204 for initial Osprey training in Jacksonville, NC. He simultaneously attended and graduated from Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) school. Lieutenant Tomkiewicz checked into VMM-261 and was promoted to Captain in November 2020. In March of 2021, Captain Tomkiewicz deployed to Moron, Spain in support of the North Africa Response Force 21.2. Upon his return he went to Yuma, AZ to be a tactical support co-pilot for the WTI 22.1 class.
In February 2022, Captain Tomkiewicz became an Aircraft Commander for the MV-22B and deployed to Norway in support of NATO Cold Response training. Captain Tomkiewicz was killed during a training flight on March 18, 2022.
His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and
Navy Arctic Service Ribbon.