Corporal Matt Cole graduated from Mandeville High in 1999 and left for the United States Marine Corps two weeks later. Cpl. Cole was a Crew chief/gunner of an Amphibious Assault Vehicle, commonly known as an "AMTRAK". He first deployed to Kuwait in January 2003 in preparation for the invasion of Iraq. Cpl. Cole was attached to RCT 5, which was the first Marine regiment to cross the border.
Cpl. Cole's second tour to Iraq, he was attached to RCT 2 stationed in Hadetha, Al Anbar Province