WASHINGTON, DC – Congress has approved legislation to name the Slatersville Post Office after a soldier from North Smithfield who died during a live-ammunition training exercise in 2017, and the legislation is now headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
The U.S. postal facility located at 42 Main St. will be dubbed the “Specialist Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office.” Turcotte died at Fort Carson in Colorado while serving with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division.
The bill, which previously passed the U.S. Senate in July, was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed with cosponsor Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and sponsored in the House by Congressman David Cicilline with cosponsor Congressman Jim Langevin.
Turcotte, a lifelong town resident and graduate from North Smithfield High School, grew up near the post office and served as co-captain of the football team. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and reported for basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia after graduation in 2015 to begin his military career.
During his time in service, Turcotte deployed overseas once, to Kosovo. He earned numerous awards and medals during his time in the military, 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.
Turcotte was just 20 years old when he was tragically killed during a training accident on August 23, 2017.
“We are forever grateful for Matthew’s devoted service to the nation. He died in the line of duty and naming this post office after him is a way to honor and remember him,” said Reed. “As a soldier, Matthew upheld and defended the values we hold dear. This will be a lasting tribute to his service, sacrifice, and love of his community.”
“The Spc. Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office will stand as an enduring reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude our community and our nation owe to Matthew and the Turcotte family,” said Whitehouse.
Turcotte is buried at Inman Family Cemetery in Burrillville. He is survived by his widow, Megan, his parents, Raymond and Liza and his sisters, Kayla and Paige.
After the bill is signed into law by President Biden, the U.S. Postal Service, the Congressional Delegation, and Slatersville officials say they plan to schedule a special ceremony and plaque dedication this spring.
“I know that Matthew’s legacy will continue to inspire residents of North Smithfield and all Rhode Islanders,” said Cicilline. “For his patriotism, for his love of family and community, and for his dedication to the principles we as Americans hold dear, we salute Matthew, and dedicate this post office in his honor.”