By: Sharon Aron Baron
A six-time recipient of the Purple Heart during several tours of duty during the Vietnam War will be this year’s keynote speaker at the City of Coral Springs Memorial Day Ceremony.
Chief Thomas A. Matteo, retired Staff Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps, and retired Law Enforcement professional is the son of Italian immigrants, who came to America in the late 1800’s from Naples, Italy. His father and mother both served in the United States military during WWII.
Matteo was formerly the Police Chief for the City of Miami from 1976-1984 until he became an expert witness regarding police policy and procedures. He also was a consultant for the United States Treasury Department, US Customs Investigative Services and worked on a Federal task force combating drug trafficking and money laundering in Central and South America.
Diagnosed with an Agent Orange related disease in 2005, Matteo was deemed 100 percent service connected disabled by the Veterans Administration in 2005.
He is currently the chairman of Faces of Heroes, Vietnam Warriors, inc., a non-profit which assists other Veterans and is a Vietnam War Consultant on a film called “Wounded Heroes” about how PTSD affects a father and his son.
The Ceremony will take place at Veterans Park, located at 8601 Royal Palm Boulevard on Monday, May 30, at 9 a.m. with special remarks from members of the city commission.