April 12, 2018
Name: Michael J. Mantenuto
Branch: United States Army
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Time Served: 7 Years
Location: Fort Lewis, JB Lewis-McChord, WA
Home Town: Holliston, MA
Starting at age 3, his father put him on ice skates, and from then on, hockey remained an important part of his life. From youth hockey to elite teams, to Holliston High School, University of Maine, and finally to coaching his son in youth hockey when Mike was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Besides hockey, Mike went on to be chosen to play the role of Jack O’Callahan, in the Disney movie’s production of “Miracle”, chronicling the unprecedented event of the Americans beating the Russians in the 1980 Olympics. Mike then spent a couple of years in the “Hollywood” scene exploring acting options, but that was not to be. He went on to enlist in the Army and became part of the Special Forces as a Green Beret. Ultimately, what gave Mike the most inner satisfaction and passion was devoting his life to helping other soldiers who struggled with mental health, PTSD, and addiction issues.
It’s been almost a year since Michael has been gone, he left behind two beautiful children, a wife, a mom and dad, three sisters, along with many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. We are left with the question of “Why” and although we know he’s at peace, there’s a sense of closure we will never get. We wouldn’t want another family to have to go through such pain and anguish. This has been a year of firsts without Michael and every day is a challenge. We hope to continue Michael's legacy by bringing attention to Veterans who struggle and need resources to re-enter their communities.
June 06, 2018
I know the anguish Michael’s family must feel. I cannot look at “The Wall”. I know too many names and seeing them again drags me down to an abyss where tears flow uncontrollably and darkness is a vale that runs a shiver up my spine. Thoughts of sleep under a warm blanket want to take me to a place where I can wake in a field of pretty colorful flowers and know it was all just a bad dream… I try to stay awake and prevent the 22 Combat Veterans from taking their own lives every day.
April 15, 2018
A certified hero! Playing elite sports, having a family, acting in a movie and being part of the Green Berets is something that not everyone can do
My father was a WWII veteran and he was my hero. Michael was your family’s hero and I pray for your family, that you will teach your children that their daddy was and will ALWAYS be their hero. Michael was a hero, in so many ways, but he was a human being, with human challenges that he faced every single day. Never forget that even though he is no longer with you physically, he will always be there in spirit. He is part of your children, his best part, and they need to always be reminded that he lives in them. I pray God gives you His peace that passeth understanding all the days of your family’s life.
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