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November 10, 2014 at 11:17am

Staff Sgt. Matthew Roth receives America's Service Heroes Scholarship from Saint Martin's University

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Staff Sgt. Matthew Roth received some extra spotlight action during the Saint Martin's University's Gala 2014 Nov. 1. Roth, a SMU senior from San Diego, California, was honored for being the University's sixth recipient of its America's Service Heroes Scholarship.

The folks at SMU have more details. ...

Staff Sergeant Matthew Roth of San Diego, California, a Saint Martin's University senior who is majoring in psychology, has been selected as the University's sixth recipient of its America's Service Heroes Scholarship. Roth received the honor Nov. 1 before 650 guests at Gala 2014, an important fundraiser for University student scholarships that was held in Marcus Pavilion on the Lacey campus.

Endowed and awarded annually since 2009, the award is given in honor of service members who have attended Saint Martin's University campuses in times of conflict and during peacetime.

"The America's Service Heroes Scholarship was created to provide financial assistance to those service members and their families who have sacrificed for our nation's well-being and security," says Radana Dvorak, Ph.D., dean of the University's Extended Learning Division. "The ability to provide financial relief to the defenders of our culture and heritage through pursuit of higher education was the motivating force of the scholarship's founders and supporters. We salute all of America's Service Heroes." 

A nine-and-a-half year member of the U.S. Army, Roth enlisted as a combat medic, utilizing his experiences gained as an emergency medical technician on an ambulance and in an emergency room setting prior to enlisting in the Army.  He is the son of retired Marine Corps officers, and he followed his younger brother into the Army when he learned his sibling had received orders to Iraq.

Roth's first assignment led him to Ledward Barracks, where he served with the Blue Spaders of the 1/26 IN BN in Schweinfurt, Germany.  This was also the first unit he deployed with during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006/2008.  His admiration of his colleagues is readily apparent. "I can think of no other unit I would have wanted to deploy with," says Roth. "The Blue Spaders were a band of brothers...blood brothers!"

In 2012, Roth was transferred to Madigan Army Medical Center and worked as the ward master for the medical-surgical ward, as well as the NCOIC for the Medical-Surgical Nursing Services section. He is currently a practical nurse course instructor at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Roth has been married to his wife Sydne for 14 years. They have a daughter, Holland, with another child due in March 2015. After graduation, he intends to stay with Saint Martin's and work towards a master's degree in counseling. Rothe's ultimate goal is to become a child and family counselor.

"I have always had an interest in helping others but have come to realize that I would rather help as a counselor instead of as a nurse," says Roth.

He has a Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, an Iraqi Campaign Medal with two stars, a Global War on Terrorism Medal, and an Army Service Ribbon.  Roth also holds the coveted Combat Medic Badge and the Drivers Badge-Wheele.

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