Episode 13: About Veteran Matthew Hutcheson

Get to know veteran Matthew Hutcheson and watch Operation FINALLY HOME give the Hutcheson family the surprise of a lifetime.


[MUSIC] This is the Army Commander that I have, Tommy Franks. 82nd Division Commander, [MUSIC] 112th these are all the coins from where I worked at in my career or I was awarded During my career, from the time I was a very young boy from the age of probably four or five, my mother could have told you I wanted to be a paratrooper my whole life. My great, great grandfather, on both sides, were in the civil war for the Confederate states. We're Southerners. My grandfather was in the World War Two, one uncle served in Vietnam. And my cousin who I grew up with, kind of like a brother, Tony, was in the Navy. And I myself joined the army. [MUSIC] [NOISE] Some lower jumpers below me said that when they went around they saw a big puff of dust as I hit slam pretty hard. Seems that I lost lift in my canopy at about 70 feet above ground level. I'm not exactly sure why I can only assume that someone come underneath me and stole my air because the lower jumper is here with the canopy this canopy loses air it will collapse there's nothing you can do. So down he goes. [NOISE] [MUSIC] They let me go to sleep on the floor of the emergency room. Obviously that's a bad thing with a brain injury. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] When he woke up he was combative. And that is a very large sign of a brain injury. The neurologist that took his case started looking through his files and everything, and realized he shouldn't have been on active duty after the IE accident before, and then he definitely should not have been jumping out of an airplane. [MUSIC] A beautiful, young, new paratrooper came in town named Leslie Sherman, she was one of the medics and we got together during the treatment for my final brain injury. And I pretty much knew from the day I met her that I was going to marry her. We met on a Sunday, and we've been together ever since the following Wednesday. I met Matthew the very first day I was there. He was the first person I met. We just kinda clicked. [LAUGH] With my wife being a medic in the military and EMT qualified, and being my caregiver at the same time, it really helps a lot that she understands symptoms. She understands what's going on. Memory, anger, patience is one of my biggest things. I'm trying to learn patience again. She's a great woman. I'm pretty lucky to have her. As far as the PTSD and TBI, I can see triggers now. We've been together long enough and I was trained to see triggers so I know when an episode is going to happen. We went through a lot of hard times before I think he even figured out what some of the triggers were. She was taking care of me. We have three wonderful children together. Riley, Emma and Brooklyn, they're our girls. I think that's what keeps Mikey going a lot of the times is the girls. He just Anything to make them happy. The girls swim, they dance, they just love life. [MUSIC] The home we live in is a little aggravating for the fact that it's two floors and going up and down steps is difficult for me with my back. Can't really go up to tuck the kids in bed. If he goes up, that's it. We're done. We're upstairs the rest of the night. And one day there might come a point where stairs Won't really be used at all. One of those cool little old man chairs. [SOUND] [LAUGH] I have the major highway less than 20 feet from my back door. So I get to listen to all the sirens, all the vehicles. It's a stressor. It just kinda keeps you on edge You hear every car, you hear every siren, every loud thud. Those are all triggers. [MUSIC] Tonight we have a couple of special guests here, couple of true American heroes. Sergeant Matthew Hutchison and his wife, Army Medic Leslie Hutchison and their three kids, would y'all come on up here? [APPLAUSE] Tomorrow, we're supposed to interview these folks for a new home, and this is what we told them. [LAUGH] But Actually, folks Operation Finally Home, Southern Living folks, Terrence and Ashley with Portico Homes we're going to build you a brand new home. [APPLAUSE] Thank you everybody. I don't know what to say right now. I'm speechless. This operation [INAUDIBLE] experience to me is probably the most humbling experience I've ever had. And I've never deserved something so great and so wonderful for my family. My children and wife, of course they deserve it, they're some of the greatest people in the world, but me? I'm just an old, broke-down soldier. There's nothing special about me. [MUSIC]
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