WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation to name the post office in Slatersville the “Specialist Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office,” and if a similar bill is passed in the House, it can be signed into law by the president.
Turcotte, of North Smithfield, was serving with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division when he was killed in August of 2017 during a live-ammunition training exercise at Fort Carson in Colorado.
Late last night, the full U.S. Senate approved the measure, Senate Bill 2847, authored by U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, to name the postal facility at 42 Main St. after the fallen soldier, who grew up nearby, and played football just four miles down the road at North Smithfield High School.
An identical measure, House 5061, sponsored by Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which will need passage to be signed into law by the president.
Turcotte, a lifelong resident of North Smithfield, enlisted in the U.S. Army while attending high school, where he was a co-captain on the football team. After graduating from NSHS in 2015, he reported for basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia and began his military career.
Turcotte was just 20 years old when he was tragically killed during a training accident on August 23, 2017. During his time in the military, he deployed overseas once, to Kosovo. Turcotte earned numerous awards and medals for his service, including: the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, and NATO Medal.
“Matthew was a dedicated soldier, promising young man, and proud son of Rhode Island,” said Reed. “He died in the line of duty and naming this post office after him is a small token of our enduring gratitude for his faithful service to our nation. He upheld and defended the values we hold dear and this will be a lasting tribute to his service, sacrifice, and love of community.”
“Spc. Turcotte was a patriot and a proud son of North Smithfield who we tragically lost long before his time,” said Whitehouse. “I hope the Spc. Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office will serve as an enduring reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude our community and our nation owe Spc. Turcotte and his family.”
Turcotte is buried at Inman Family Cemetery in Burrillville. He is survived by his widow, Megan, his parents, Raymond and Liza, his sisters, Kayla and Paige, and an extended family of loved ones.