NORTH SMITHFIELD – The U.S. postal facility located at 42 Main St. is now officially, “Specialist Matthew R. Turcotte Post Office,” following a renaming ceremony and ribbon-cutting held on Sunday, July 17.
Turcotte died at Fort Carson in Colorado while serving with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division during a live-ammunition training exercise in 2017.
A lifelong town resident and graduate from North Smithfield High School, Turcotte grew up near the Slatersville post office. He served as co-captain of the football team, and enlisted in the U.S. Army, reporting for basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia just after graduation in 2015 to begin his military career.
Turcotte earned numerous awards and medals during his time in 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. He was just 20 years old when he died in the tragic accident during training on August 23, 2017.
The effort to dedicate the post office to the fallen soldier was led by Sen. Jack Reed, with help from others in the Rhode Island delegation including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin. Congress approved the renaming legislation in February, and it was signed into law by President Joe Biden.
“Matthew was a hero and it’s important that a community recognize its heroes,” said Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski this week. “I want to thank Senator Reed, members of the Rhode Island delegation and all those who made this possible.”
The dedication ceremony was held at the facility at 42 Main St. with attendance by local, state and federal officials.
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.