Monday, July 16, 2012

Bridge in Sagamore Beach named for fallen Green Beret Pucino

UPDATE: July 16, 2012
The Pucino family joined legislators to witness the signing of Senate Bill 2218 by Governor Deval Patrick. The governor's press release follows:
L to R: Rep. Randy Hunt, Lisa Haglof, Phil Haglof,
Governor Deval Patrick, Melissa Pucino,
Senate President Therese Murray, Rep. Vinny deMacedo

BOSTON – Monday, July 16, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined family members and legislators to sign S. 2218, “An Act Designating Certain Bridges In The Town of Bourne As The Staff Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino Bridges,” honoring Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009 when his mounted patrol unit was attacked with an IED.

“Naming these bridges in Sergeant Pucino’s honor is a small gesture of thanks for a very big service to our country,” said Governor Patrick.

"Matthew was a Green Beret, which takes hard work, commitment and courage," said Senate President Therese Murray. "He had all those traits and more. Matthew was a hero, and with this dedication we acknowledge his service and sacrifice and honor his family and his legacy."

“I am proud we have chosen to remember Matthew by naming this bridge in his honor,” said State Representative Vinny deMacedo. “He elected to put himself in harm’s way to protect the country he loved. This is one small measure in which his community can thank him for that ultimate sacrifice.”

"There is no way that the commonwealth can pay back Staff Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino for his service to our country and his ultimate sacrifice while leading a convoy on that fateful day in November 2009,” said State Representative Randy Hunt. “But we can commemorate this great American hero by naming a bridge in his honor on the approach to the Cape Cod Canal in Matt's hometown village of Sagamore Beach."

The division of highways in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will be charged with creating and maintaining suitable markers bearing the new designation of the Sagamore overpass spanning U.S. Route 6 that crosses over Meetinghouse Lane and the Scenic Highway.

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June 29, 2012
The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate enacted Senate Bill 2218 yesterday naming a twin-span bridge in Bourne for Staff Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino, who was killed in Afghanistan in November 2009. The bridge is on Route 3 and passes over the Bourne Scenic Highway on the approach to the Sagamore Bridge. It was built as part of the "flyover" project that eliminated the Sagamore Beach rotary.

Matthew Pucino's parents, sisters, brother-in-law and niece attended the House session and witnessed the bill being passed. Members of the House then greeted them and passed on their condolences for their loss.
Prior to the session, the family visited with Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo in his office where they received a House of Representatives citation honoring the family's creation of the SSG Matthew A. Pucino Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds for disabled veterans and for Gold Star families.



Pucino family receiving House of Representatives citation. Left to right: State Representative Randy Hunt, Katelyn Haglof, Melissa Pucino, Albert Pucino, Kathryn Pucino, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Phil Haglof, Lisa Haglof, State Representative Susan Gifford, State Representative Vinny deMacedo.

The family was introduced to the House members by Speaker DeLeo:
Today, we're taking up Senate 2218, a bill to name a Route 3 bridge in the Town of Bourne for Staff Sergeant Matthew Albert Pucino.

Pucino, who grew up in Plymouth and Bourne, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland Army National Guard.

As a Special Forces Green Beret, Staff Sergeant Pucino was instrumental in freeing the local population in an area of Afghanistan from Taliban forces who had set up a terrorist training camp.

On November 23, 2009, Pucino was killed in Pashay Kala, Afghanistan, when his mounted patrol unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device.

His awards and decorations include:

the Purple Heart Medal

two Bronze Star Medals

Army Commendation Medal

Iraq Campaign Medal

Combat Infantryman Badge

Parachutist Badge

Special Forces Tab

NATO Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

We are joined this afternoon to the right of the rostrum by Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino's family:
Mother and father, Albert & Kathryn Pucino;
Sisters Melissa Pucino and Lisa Haglof;
Brother-in-law, Phil Haglof; and

Niece Katelyn Haglof.
State Representative Randy Hunt then offered the bill for a vote:
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the members.

I want to thank Matt's family for attending our session today. I also want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and my esteemed colleagues from West Boylston, Plymouth and Wareham for coordinating the timing of this vote to coincide with Mr. and Mrs. Pucino's trip to Boston from Florida.

There is no way that this House can pay back Staff Sergeant Matthew A. Pucino for his service to our country and his ultimate sacrifice while leading a convoy on that fateful day in November 2009. But we can commemorate this great American hero by naming a bridge in his honor on the approach to the Cape Cod Canal in Matt's hometown village of Sagamore Beach.

This will provide a permanent reminder for his family, friends, neighbors and all of the thousands of people who travel Route 3 to Cape Cod every day.

I urge everyone in this body to join with me in passing this bill.
After the House session, the Pucinos were honored by the State Senate. Senate President, Therese Murray, said that she keeps a photograph of Matthew Puccino on her desk, which she held up to show the family and senators. She said, "We can never replace your son, but I want you to know how much we appreciate your sacrifice and his sacrifice. We are pleased to have you in the chamber today to witness the passing of this bill."

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