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Army Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino

Died November 23, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

34, of Cockeysville, Md.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland Army National Guard, Glen Arm, Md.; died Nov. 23 in Pashay Kala, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Comforted buddy after he was shot in combat

The Associated Press

Matthew Pucino could withstand the rigors of the Army — but he couldn’t sneak a pocketknife past security at Walt Disney World.

His brother-in-law, Phil Haglof, said Pucino was initially asked to leave the knife in his car, but then tried to sneak it in through another entrance. This time, a security guard with a gold Mickey Mouse badge caught him.

“We always made fun of him that this Green Beret was busted by a Mickey cop,” Haglof told a crowd at Pucino’s memorial service.

Pucino, 34, of Cockeysville, Md., was killed by a roadside bomb Nov. 23 in Pashay Kala, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the Maryland National Guard in Glen Arm, Md.

The special forces soldier was remembered as a selfless person who gave of himself for others. Army Sgt. 1st Class Dan Dosier recalled the time he was shot during a raid. Pucino held his hand and told jokes as they rode back to the base hospital.

Pucino also donated two pints of blood for his friend — and then hopped into the helicopter so he could head back to the war zone.

“This left Matt pretty weak but that’s the kind of friend he was,” Dosier said.

Pucino is survived by his parents, Albert and Kathryn; two sisters, Lisa Haglof and Melissa Pucino; and a niece and three nephews.

Bridge may be named after fallen soldier

The Associated Press

BOSTON — The state Senate has passed a bill to name a Cape Cod bridge in honor of a soldier who died in Afghanistan. The bill to honor late Army Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino now moves to the House for consideration.

The bridge consists of two side-by-side structures that pass over Route 6 in Bourne.

A roadside bomb killed Pucino in November 2009. The 34-year-old Massachusetts native grew up in Plymouth and Bourne and went to Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth. He worked part-time as a Yarmouth police officer in the mid-1990s before enlisting in the Army in 2002.

Pucino, who also served in Iraq, was assigned to the Maryland National Guard when he died.

Post office named for Mass. native killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

BOURNE, Mass. — A Massachusetts post office has been renamed in honor of a Green Beret killed in Afghanistan.

A July 8 ceremony saw the U.S. Post Office branch in Sagamore Beach renamed the Army Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino Post Office.

Pucino, 34, grew up in Plymouth and Bourne but lived in Maryland at the time of his death in the line of duty in November 2009.

He graduated from Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth and worked part-time as a Yarmouth police officer in the mid-1990s, before enlisting in the Army in 2002 in response to the 9/11 attacks.

He was on his third tour of duty when he was killed when a homemade bomb went off near his vehicle.

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