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SFC Matthew L Hilton tours included Panama, Bosnia, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. When he was done with active duty service, Matt joined the Military Police, US Army Reserves out of Inkster in 1999, this is where he met his wife Mary, also a Military Police Officer in the same unit. He later transferred to F. Co 425 INFANTRY ABORNE, Michigan Army National Guard in 2001. Matt was an expert parachutist, eventually leading his soldiers by attaining the title of Jump Master. SFC Hilton stood between his community and those that would harm others in his capacity as a Police Officer. Matthew was a Detroit Police Officer, then later joined the Lathrup Village Police Department and is fondly remembered as a person of great physical fitness and determination, capable of achieving success in any task assigned to him. He also loved woodwork and spent some of his free time in his workshop smoking cigars & working on his next project. He regularly made furniture to give to friends for housewarming gifts. He also loved to work out, run and travel with his family. A native son of Michigan, SFC Hilton was born on April 26th, 1971, and raised in Holt, Michigan. He made his home in Livonia, Michigan, with his wife, Mary, and his two step-children, Brent and Hailie Robinson. He is also survived by parents, Mary Beth Pluger, Mike Pluger & Leon Hilton. Sister, Jeanine Hilton, also survives him. Although, he didn’t have any children of his own, he considered his step-children, Hailie and Brent, his own. He shared his military experience with Brent and helped him train for his own career in the Army. Matthew was deployed to Afghanistan in April 2008 to work in an Embedded Training Team with the Afghan Police. While serving in Afghanistan, out of all the misery, Matt fell in love with the Afghan children. He had a chance to regularly spend time visiting them, playing games and getting to know their families. They seem to brighten up his day whenever he had a chance to see them. Matt would ask friends and family to send him toys, candy and sporting equipment to hand out to them. On June 26th, 2008, Matthew was on his 2nd day of travel from southern Afghanistan to Kabul, near Forward Operating Base Shank, when his convoy encountered several improvised explosive devices (IED), small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. He succumbed to the wounds he suffered and was tragically taken from his loving family, friends, fellow soldiers and country. Two other American Soldiers and one Afghan Soldier also lost their lives that day.
SFC Hilton’s awards and badges include: Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), the Army Achievement Medal (4th award), the Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award) , the National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2nd award), the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (2nd award), the Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M Device, the Michigan Service Medal (2nd award), the Michigan State War on Terrorism Ribbon, the Michigan Outside US Service Ribbon, the Airborne Patch, the Combat Action Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Drivers Badge and the Mechanics Badge. SFC Hilton also received the Master Parachutist Badge.