Matthew David Moyes was born on February 3rd, 1967, to John W. and Phyllis Moyes. He was born and raised in Rock Island, IL alongside his brother, John. Moyes attended the College of DuPage from 1997 to 1999, earning an Associate in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration. Four years later, when the United States and coalition forces invaded Iraq as the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Matthew D. Moyes would deploy as a combat medic with the United States Army.
While serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moyes served as medic with the 801st Combat Support Hospital. On the battlefields of a warfront, soldiers and civilians are wounded by the dangers of combat. Bullets, explosions, and shrapnel constitute some of the more common dangers that soldiers and civilians face in war. In addition to this, the everyday medical needs of these people still need to be met. The Combat Support Hospital (CSH) is designed to offer them comprehensive medical treatment as near to the fighting as possible:
The goal of a CSH is to minimize the distance from the point of injury to the location of advanced treatment. They resemble civilian hospitals in that they have the capability to provide the most basic to the most advanced trauma care, from dental, to CT scans, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, and head trauma care.
In his service at the 801st CSH, Moyes provided a service to his fellow soldiers and nearby civilians by ensuring that they had the medical treatment needed to survive on the harsh battlefields of the Iraq War.
Since the CSH provides a vast array of medical services to the armed forces, it is by necessity a very large and complex series of tents and materiel. The CSH is reportedly a beast to set up and tear down, even with mechanized assistance:
A CSH… is so large that moving one after it’s been established requires several days of packing equipment and tearing down tents, and outside resources to physically pick up the equipment crammed into containers capable of holding more than 500 cubic feet of materiel, and flatbed trucks to haul the hospital to the new location.
Thus, the CSH is ideally placed so that it moves as little as possible. In the event that a rapid retreat is necessary, the soldiers operating the CSH need to make snap decisions on how best to salvage medical equipment and treat existing patients. In addition to this vulnerability, the Geneva Convention Laws permit medical personnel to only carry weapons for self-defense, making CSHs even softer targets for potential enemy attack. The inherent danger of operating a CSH reflects the bravery of Moyes and his medics, who operated this medical center with the dangers of shelling and enemy attack an ever-present possibility. Before his retirement, Moyes rose to command of the 801st CSH. Moyes’ Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal serve as testaments to the exemplary valor and service that he displayed as medic and commander of the 801st Combat Support Hospital.
After his retirement from the Army in 2014, Moyes continued to work in healthcare as a paramedic, and then an emergency nurse at Riverside Healthcare. Moyes was involved in several professional and medical organizations. He enjoyed spending time with his children, Shane and Grace, and his dog Cooper. Moyes passed away on September 20th, 2021, at Riverside Medical Center where he worked. Shortly after his passing, Moyes’ Director at Riverside honored him with a story that highlights his humility and character as a leader that elevates his team:
“My last conversation with Matt, I brought him a patient compliment I had received on a patient satisfaction survey. In response, he thanked me and then paid it forward by telling me how great Kaitlyn Beswick (one of our ED Nurses) was doing. He listed in great detail an example of a time she took great care of a patient and told me what a wonderful team we have here.“
Matthew David Moyes leaves the legacy of a soldier and nurse whose example encouraged his team to provide top tier medical service to those in need.