Marine Lance Corporal Matt Determan, grandson of QC residents Jack and Susan Moberg, died May 19, 2015 in an Osprey helicopter training accident in Waimanalo, Hawaii. Matt, son of Mike and Charlesa Determan of Tucson, was stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego. He was on a training mission enroute to the Gulf of Aden, near the war ravaged areas of Yemen and Somalia. Matt had just turned 21 on May 12.
Matt’s story is one of amazing determination and dedication. When he first applied to the Marines he was not accepted. In today’s volunteer military everyone must meet both education and physical standards. Matt was not deterred. Both of his parents are Air Force veterans, but it was his lifelong dream to follow in the footsteps of his Marine grandfather, Jack Moberg, that spurred him on. He completed his education and embarked on a vigorous personal training program that often included hours-long hikes with a full backpack of sand. When he reapplied and was accepted into the Marine Corp he excelled in all aspects of his training and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. He also earned the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
While the incident on the Osprey is still under investigation, it appears the aircraft engines stalled and the aircraft plummeted over 100 feet to the ground. Several Marines were injured in the accident, and Matt and Lance Cpl. Joshua Barron both died from the extensive injuries they received in the crash. Matt Determan was buried with full military honors.
Many of our Quail Creek residents are veterans; some served in combat positions and some in support activities. We are reminded that all gave some to serve this great nation, but none gave more than Matt Determan.
Matt’s family, including brother, Taylor, and sister, Ashley, from Tucson attended the luncheon following the QCVGA Veterans Day Golf Tournament at the new Kino Conference Center at Quail Creek. QCVGA member Jack Moberg shared Matt’s inspirational story. Nicknamed the “Marine’s Marine,” he will always be honored and missed by all who knew him. “Semper fi, Matt!”