Matthew Scholten

Served in the Army
from 1996 – 2016

When were you drafted or when did you enlist?

Enlisted in the Army, April 1996. Served until Nov 2016.

Both combat deployments were Baghdad Iraq.

  1. Oct 2006 to Jan 2008
  2. Feb 2009 until March 2010

Why did you choose your branch of service?

I chose the Army because it’s the one that got me doing more military-related stuff. Growing up in San Diego, I was around the Navy, the Marines, obviously because they were right there – but they just didn’t have what I wanted to get out of the military.


What do you remember about that day?

The day I joined, I remember going to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Command) to do all the physical requirements. I remember the duck walking, the testing there, and that was a very interesting day for a little 17-year-old.


Can you describe a happy moment from your time in the service?

Not really when I think about war. It makes me think about the camaraderie, the organization, working for a higher cause, working for more than yourself... the service aspect of it. The military definitely instill that in me much more than it would have been before.


Who was your best friend in the military during your time at war? Do you still keep in touch with them today?

My best friend was probably Matt Cooper when I was at war. We talk off and on a little bit now; we’ve kind of both chipped away through our lives. It’s been 10 years since we were fighting together.


Do you have advice for those transitioning out of the military?

Have a plan... not necessarily look for a job right away but have a goal in mind... to get where you want to get.


If you hadn’t gone into the service, what do you imagine your career life would have been? Did you explore a different career after service?

Pretty much a different kind of service. My goal was to get out and be a backstage performer for theater companies. My time in the army changed that; I was going to do border patrol for awhile, related to more what I did military-wise. After my injury, I changed a third time and got into human resources.


What made you join wheelchair football?

All the action. It’s like a party.