McQuaid principal remembers local soldier killed in Afghanistan
Posted at: 07/30/2012 5:43 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
The Rochester community is mourning the loss of another local soldier in the war on terrorism. Army Private First Class Theodore Matt Glende died Friday from wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire in the Logar Province in Afghanistan. Private Glende was a graduate of McQuaid High School.
Private Glende’s cousin is still awaiting permission from Glende’s mother and father to issue a statement.
Comments posted on Facebook memorial page say he was intelligent, witty and funny with a great sense of humor. One friend wrote, “Even when Matt was having a down day, his wit produced laughs and his focus and thoughts were always, his wife, his friends and his mission.”
Andrew Cavacos is Assistant Principal at McQuaid and was dean of students when Glende graduated in 2007.
Cavacos said, “I remember him being very spirited, loving McQuaid, and being a very popular young man. Matt also was leaning in the direction of the military in his senior year with his counselor, choosing Niagara and going in that direction. He was someone who was very dedicated."
Glende was married just last April. At Niagara University, he was enrolled in the R.O.T.C. program. He was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan and was in Afghanistan only a few weeks. Relatives say Glende died while trying to give medical aid to one of his wounded fellow soldiers.
Glende's wife, Alexandra, wrote on the Facebook memorial page dedicated to her husband: “I have a story I want to share. This happened today. Shortly after the officers left my house this evening after sharing the devastating news, I looked outside my window and noticed a rainbow. It wasn't a normal rainbow, but a small rectangular rainbow in the clouds. I've never seen anything like it. It looked like the rainbows you get on your wall on a sunny day, but in the clouds. I know it was him. He's here.”
Cavacos said, “We're coming to know that to the very end of his life, he was there for his fellow soldiers and he was helping. At McQuaid, we want all of our young men to become men for others. And as tragic as this is, Matt showed everyone that he was a man for others to the end, to lay down his life for his friends.”
McQuaid graduates in 2007 where asked to pick a quote for under their yearbook picture. Glende chose this: “The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, and the depth of faith, to go as far as needed.”