Honoring those who Served: Sgt. Nagel

Honoring those who Served: Sgt. Nagel
July 23
00:00 2015

In above photo: Sgt. Matthew Nagel

By Robin Hurdle

Matthew Nagel proudly served 21 years in the Army, from March 1986 to August 2007, including two tours of duty in Iraq.

Tragically, six years after retiring from the Army, Matthew was killed when he fell while cutting trees at his home. My husband and I immediately went to the Nagel’s home to offer support to his wife and family. I noticed that Mandy, Matthew’s service dog, was pacing back and forth. She knew something was wrong and kept looking out the window for Matthew to return home. Later I glanced in the bedroom and saw that Mandy had finally lay down to sleep on their bed. I grabbed my camera and captured the picture of her sleeping with her head on her master’s Army uniform.

Matthew Nagel's dog Mandy

When Matthew Nagel retired as 1st Sgt. from the Army, he couldn’t stay away from what had become such an integral part of his life, and he went to work at Parkland High School as the instructor of their JROTC program.

Matthew Nagel's fami#282D11

The picture of the family saluting his casket is special because his entire family is in service in the US Army. From left to right: His wife, Rhonda Nagel, was in the Navy, sons Matthew, Chris, and Jon, and Rhonda’s brother, Preston Mitchell.

Matthew Nagel's grave site

His JROTC students were so inspired by Matthew that they set a goal to win competitions against other schools and to place their trophies on his grave to honor his memory.

Robin Hooper Hurdle is the president of S & R Enterprises where she handles marketing and photography.


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