Veteran, Matt Hubert, Honors Fallen Hero

Veteran, Matt Hubert, Honors Fallen Hero

Veteran Matt Hubert Honors Fallen Hero…If you see a six-foot man speedwalking around New Fairfield with a 40-pound pack on his back and Army combat boots on his feet, that would be Matt Hubert, 47, of Woodridge Road. He is in training for the Mountain Man Memorial March April 20 in Gatlinburg, TN. He will honor the memory of fallen Special Forces Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel of Madison, CT.

Hubert and his wife, Suzanne, met in the Army and were honorably discharged as captains in 2003. They have a daughter, Ashley, 19, a cadet at West Point, and a son, Zachary, 17, a senior at New Fairfield High School. Hubert’s brother Rob is retired Navy, and they have friends from all branches of the armed services.

Hubert began his training five months ago, but don’t call it jogging or running. It is a ruck march with a military-approved rucksack on his back filled with free weights, a sleeping bag to fill the empty spaces, clothing, food, and water. He is up to 20 miles a week now, rucking up and down Woodridge Lane’s steep hill, past the New Fairfield Cemetery, in neighborhoods near Bear Mountain – anywhere there is hilly terrain, two or three times a week, up to 4 ½ hours on the long rucks. Because by day he works with the power group of Michels Corporation managing underground transmission projects, he’ll do short rucks after work and longer ones on weekends.

“I am trying to honor Andrew (known as PK) the correct way, so I also wear military-spec combat boots,” he explained. “Lots of guys wear tennis shoes and shorts with their pack, but I wear the boots and full pants like a soldier would. I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees. It’s the proper way to honor someone who serviced in the military.”

Hubert’s participation in marathons began when he learned of a buddy from his Army days, Major Andrew Tong, doing ultra-marathon-length races with a prosthetic leg. “I always like to push myself physically, see what I can take,” he explained.
He started with the Bataan Memorial Death March in 2023 in the New Mexico desert. He and 26 other veterans and like-minded patriots decided to march in the MMMM to raise funds for APK Charities and honor PK. Andrew’s father, Bob Keiser, started the APK Charities’ Direct Assistance Program after his son, a 28-year-old Green Beret, died in 2013. It is designed to provide direct financial and other support services to Connecticut service members and their families of all branches of the armed forces who are in need of emergency or hardship assistance.

“It’s easy to forget there are such needs when we aren’t actively engaged in a major conflict or war,” Hubert said. “However, there is an ongoing need as many active duty military and veterans experience hardships related to their time in service.”
Hubert and Ashley did the “Fallen Comrades” half- marathon (13 miles) ruck in March at West Point to honor one fallen West Point graduate for each mile of the event. “Ironically, one of those soldiers was Andrew,” he said. The reason he is so passionate about this charity is that 100% of all donations go to the Direct Assistance Program. “I thought, wow, we can give back to those right here, directly to the cause and honor the memory of a great patriot,” he added.
This is also a family effort. Brother Rob will participate, along with brother Jake who made the T-shirts they will wear. And all 27 from throughout the U.S. are paying their own way – flights to the event, rental cars and housing. “Any money donated goes straight to APK Charities,” Hubert said.

“When I’m training, I have earbuds in with a good playlist,” he explained. “What keeps me going is thinking about who I’m representing – PK who lost his life in Afghanistan. So I’m just wanting to make sure I’m prepared to honor him properly. That’s what’s most important, that I do really well at these events. Raining or snowing, that’s who I’m thinking of.”

To donate, go to the APK Charities homepage and scroll down to MMMM or go directly to the MMMM landing page.

Reprinted with permission from New Fairfield Town Tribune

April 17, 2024 | By Aimee Suhie

APK Charities is a non-profit organization raising funds for the APK Direct Assistance Program and APK Endowment Fund in loving memory of Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel, Special Forces.

Learn more about our organization.

Blog Categories

Give a little. Help a lot.

Are you willing to help a vet in need? Every penny counts!