I learned on December 21st that my friend and shipmate, Matt Feath, died after some recent heart surgery. Matt was a flaming liberal in a military uniform disguise when we served together on the USS ELLIOT. I kept my politics to myself when I served and he did as well, but once he had retired and I Was out I really began to appreciate him. It is a lonely thing to be progressive in a conservative culture like the military. I assume Matt did it for the same reason I did it: purely out of love of country, and not because of some forced, fake patriotism that drives some on the right. He and I traded messages on Facebook every few days, swapping takes on national politics, good bands and musicians, military life, and mutual interest in spooky topics such as UFOs, remote viewing, and the like. I was delighted that our friendship has blossomed the way it had. I smiled at all the photos Matt shared of time he spent with his kids, on whom he absolutely doted..
Matt was very loyal to his family and friends. He helped me find my way as a liberal veteran – that is, a former military member who actually gives a shit about others. He introduced me to a lot of good music, too. He was an atheist for much of the time that I’d known him but I suspect some of the woo woo interests I’d shared with him may have made him think that perhaps there is something more to material life. When I eventually cross the border into the next world, I look forward to sharing a beer with my good shipmate, Matt.