Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Coming together to support a peer

I met Matthew Dusenbery for the first time in October at the Rio Grande GCSA chapter event held at Sandia Golf Club where he serves as the assistant superintendent. He seemed a little fidgety that day, but that was normal as he was hosting golf for about 60 of his New Mexico peers. What I didn’t know until later was that he was also very excited that day because he and his wife Raquel were expecting their first child any day. After the round, I made sure to compliment and thank Matthew and his boss, Todd Huslig, for a great day on their beautiful golf course at Sandia. I also wished Matt good luck on the birth of his child and kidded him about not getting much sleep anytime in the near future.

The best part of our jobs as field staff representatives is getting to meet and know many young people like Matthew. One of the hardest is learning about the tragic stories that happen occasionally to individuals that we meet along the way. We’ve all heard many tough stories, but the one that has affected Matthew and his family has hit home for many of the members in New Mexico who have shown an outpouring of support. As you will read from the excerpts on the gofundme page, Matthew’s wife, Raquel, tragically passed away shortly after giving birth to their daughter on October 21. Baby Emma Raquel is thankfully doing well and is happy and healthy.

Since our meeting, I have learned that that Matthew is a decorated Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He served in Bosnia and Kosovo and decided on a career in golf course maintenance after bravely serving his country. I strongly encourage everyone to read more about Matthew’s story and to consider a donation if you are able.  

October 28
Matthew, and his wife, Raquel, were blessed by the birth of their daughter, Emma, on October 21st. They were told that they would never have children. She is a medical miracle. Unimaginably, Raquel passed away only hours after her birth due to severe complications. Back in June, Matthew and Raquel found their dream home. The perfect place to build their dreams and raise their little miracle. This account was established to help Matthew and Emma cope with the loss of a second income and any other necessities related to a new baby. Many people have asked our family about the best way to show their love and support in this time of need. Please consider donating or sharing this with someone that may want to. Thank you for your prayers and generosity.

November 1
Emma is 11 days old today. She's a healthy, beautiful, wonderful baby. Not surprisingly, as she was born to a couple of amazing people. Raquel made her living and spent her life caring for others. She was an emergency room registered nurse that had room in her heart of gold for everyone that she met, human and animal. She loved openly and genuinely, and her absence has formed a sea of grieving hearts that were fortunate enough to experience her love.

Matthew's passion is golf. Not just the game, but down to smallest detail. He even has a degree in it. No joke. But before he was the King of the Course, Matthew served his country for 7 years as an MP in the United States Army. He is a decorated veteran from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and also served in Bosnia and Kosovo. He was regularly selected for special assignments has received many awards for his outstanding service. Raquel was very proud of her soldier.

Little Emma has a very proud legacy; born to a father that would give anything and a mother that gave everything.