Ultimate Professional

Second Class Petty Officer Matthew Gene Axelson entered boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., in 2000. He went directly to Basic Underwater Demolition training, graduating with class 237.

“Does he not see my ways, and number all my steps?” —Job 31:4

After training, he attended Army Jump School, SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) school. He checked aboard SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE in 2002 and joined ALFA Platoon. He deployed to Afghanistan in March 2005 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

STG2 Matt Axelson’s personal awards include the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson
Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson

Axe, as was his nickname, was a sniper. He was the ultimate quiet professional with a calming presence about him. He had the ability to remove the stress from any situation.

Axe died at the age of 29 during Operation Red Wings in an ambush in Afghanistan. He was survived by his wife. He had a political science degree and was an avid golfer who dreamed of playing in the PGA, but he died in service to his country. His future and dreams will never be realized, yet his military career and legacy as a Navy SEAL will live on forever.

Our choices will matter as to how we live—and how we die. Will we leave a legacy or just be forgotten? Will our lives have counted and matter? We have an opportunity to be a part of something great and to be great, if we choose.

Today, if you are living a life dedicated to service, you are a part of something great and are leaving a legacy for others, just like Matt Axelson.

HEAVENLY FATHER, guide my daily choices to be in Your will, so my weeks, months, years, and finally, my very life, will matter now and after I’m gone.

A daily devotion fromstrength for service

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