Matthew

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Trigger Warning

 

Born on the day after Valentine's Day in 1994, Matthew Charles Merritt Fry was a blonde-haired blue-eyed, gorgeous kid.  He always had a kind heart and was friends with everyone. Growing up he lost his 'only child' status when he became big brother to twin boys in 2004. He was funny and smart and was very close to his family. He was competitive and loved to play games, computer games, cards, etc.

Matt earned his Black Belt in Tang Soo Do and also loved playing football.  His senior year, he asked his mother if she would be embarrassed if he chose to enter the Air Force instead of going to Penn State where he was already accepted. She was a teacher at his high school and thought she would be embarrassed if he didn't go on to college. She of course was not embarrassed and was very proud of his choice.

Matt's job was in the intelligence community and was a secret. He was from Pennsylvania and so he didn't get to see his family a lot while he was at a Langley Air Force based.  He did meet and marry his wife there. Then they (she is in the Air Force as well) transferred to Buckley AFB in Colorado. Matt got accepted into the MOSAP program which was a high honor.  He got to work with other agencies in the intelligence community and even got to travel for work to places like South Korea and Hawaii. He loved that.

On March 13, 2020, a series of events caused Matthew to take his own life. The country was shutting down due to a global pandemic. The Air Force sent him home and told him to stay there and await instructions. While at home he called his parents who asked if he had been drinking and why so early in the day and he sounded happy and said why not? I'm not allowed to leave. The rest of the conversation centered around a surprise birthday party for his cousin who was turning 21. The plan was that he and his wife were going to fly to Pittsburgh and meet the rest of the family at a hotel. They were going to a nice place to eat and then to the casino.  To say he was looking forward to that is an understatement. Not only did he miss his family, but he also had never been to a casino.  He actually downloaded charts to study for Black Jack and tried to get his mom to memorize them. That competitive spirit was really coming through. A few hours after this call, he heard from the Air Force that he would not be allowed to fly to Pittsburgh and that it was going to be quite a while until he could.  Then he had a serious fight with his wife.  All of that on top of the alcohol consumption was the perfect storm, and Matthew rage quit the game of life.

Matthew's decision could have destroyed his mother's life. Instead, she decided to reach out to help others and developed P2ROP. Her hope is to save one life. It couldn't be her son's but maybe it could be someone in your life.