United States Marine Sgt. Matthew Partyka, a decorated service member and Massachusetts native, died earlier this month at age 25. He is remembered by those who loved him for his “kindness and goodness.”
Born in Springfield, Partyka moved to Hingham in 2000 and graduated from the town’s high school in 2015, where he was a member of the wrestling team. He also enjoyed playing baseball and later became a Little League umpire, according to his obituary.
On Aug. 1, 2016, Partyka enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and went to recruit training on Parris Island, South Carolina. A year later, he deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, an international coalition military action created to defeat the Islamic State. The majority of his career was spent as an infantryman at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with 2nd Marine Division, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, his obituary said.
His decorations included the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, according to his obituary.
Partyka died by suicide on July 3 at Camp Lejeune, where he was stationed. He is survived by his parents, sisters, brother-in-law, nephews and grandmother as well as his many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, including those he served with in the Marine Corps around the country, his obituary said.
“Since Matthew was a young boy, he demonstrated to everyone the kindness and goodness of his heart and soul,” one person wrote on the tribute wall section of Partyka’s obituary. “He was loved, admired and respected by family, friends, Brother Marines, and everyone he met and served along his journey.”
Suicide rates among active military personnel and veterans have reached alarming peaks, outpacing suicide rates of the general population in the U.S., according to researchers. A 2021 Brown University study found that an estimated 30,177 active-duty personnel and war veterans of post-9/11 conflicts have died by taking their own lives.
These high suicide rates are caused by multiple factors, the study noted, including risks inherent to fighting in any war, such as high exposure to trauma, stress, military culture and training, continued access to guns and the difficulty of reintegrating into civilian life.
The late Marine sergeant’s family requests that, instead of flowers, people make donations in Partyka’s honor to any of the following charities: the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Military Friends Foundation, the Cpl. Christopher J. Orlando USMC Memorial Scholar Fund in Hingham, Misson22 or Suicide Awareness & Remembrance Flag.
Partyka’s body is expected to be returned to Hingham under a Massachusetts State Police escort Monday, July 18 following plane-side honors around 6:45 p.m., according to a statement from the town and its director of veterans services, Keith Jermyn.
The funeral hearse will be led from Boston Logan International Airport, down Interstate 93 south and onto Route 3 south. The procession is expected to then exit at Derby Street in Hingham around 7:15 p.m., and from there, it will travel along several streets in the town, the statement said.
“The Town is asking all residents of Hingham who are along these areas to silently stand in respect, accompanied by American/USMC flags if possible,” the statement noted.
Partyka’s wake will be held at the Resurrection Church in Hingham on Tuesday, July 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. His funeral and burial are scheduled for 10 a.m. the following day. The late Marine sergeant is expected to be laid to rest with full military honors at St. Paul Parish’s cemetery in Hingham, according to the statement.
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