cwo matthew ruffner
Matt was a son and a brother, a boyfriend and a friend, a Pitt and Pirates fan, an athlete and a musician, a pilot and an instructor...When he found something he loved, he devoted himself to it completely… from lifting weights, to flying and teaching his student pilots, or playing guitar, or skiing ,then all the way back to family, friends and his girlfriend. Matt was loved by all who knew him…maybe his quick wit and sense of humor helped, because he sure had both.
He absolutely loved flying Apache and wanted to serve his country along with his fellow pilots in Afghanistan. Many of them have said how much they loved flying with him!
Matt was honored by the Quad A as the US Army Aviation Tactical Operations (Tacops) Officer of the Year for 2013 for his life saving mission planning. Also a bridge was named for him in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A painting by military artist Larry Selman honoring “Gun23” (Matt’s and co-pilot Jarett Yoder’s final flight) hangs in an aviation building at the1st 104th ARB in Fort Indiantown Gap, PA and a replica at Headquarters in Johnstown, PA.