#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Corps Veteran Al Matthews


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Al Matthews. Al served during the Vietnam War.

Al was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 21st, 1942. At a young age, Al would discover his passion for singing and acting.

Al served six years with Kilo Battery, Fourth Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, of the First Marine Division. During his service, Al would earn many combat decorations, including two Purple Hearts, and would become the first African American in the First Marine Division to be meritoriously promoted to sergeant.

His experience as a Marine would prepare him for his most notable acting role as Space Marine Gunnery Sergeant Apone in James Cameron’s 1986 horror-action film, Aliens.

After a long career in entertainment, Al would move to Spain, where he spent the rest of his life as a singer.

Al passed away on September 22, 2018. He was 75.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Graphic By Whitney Moore: Whitney is an undergraduate senior at Southern New Hampshire University studying Social Media Marketing.


Nicholas Rogers-Dillon

Nicholas Rogers-Dillon is a senior studying Philosophy and Political Science at Brooklyn College. He is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and is currently working as a writing intern at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, hoping to pursue a career in public service.


  1. Robert Bostic    

    We honor the service of Marine Corps Veteran Al Matthews.

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