NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A post office in North Kingstown is now renamed for an Army captain who was killed in Iraq.
The building in Saunderstown will now be known as the “Captain Matthew J. August Post Office.”
“I think Matthew’s here in spirit as well so it does mean a lot to us,” August’s father Richard August, said. “I think it should represent the sacrifice made by all the men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Dozens showed up for Sunday’s dedication ceremony. August was described as an athlete, an outdoorsman, someone who wanted to lead soldiers.
“He is an example of bravery and courage we all must emulate,” Senator Jack Reed told the crowd.
August was leading the 1st Engineer Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division on a mission to find a cache of insurgent munitions 60 miles west of Baghdad in January 2004 when his unit was ambushed. August, who was 28, and three other U.S. soldiers were killed.
Sergeant Tom Oyster served with him and was in a truck behind August’s when he was killed.
August’s father listened from the front row as Oyster said his son, “died a hero and he gave his life protecting mine.”
August grew up in North Kingstown, went to Davisville Middle School and graduated from Bishop Hendricken High School in 1993 before attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduating in 1997.
The legislation to rename the building was introduced in 2018 by Reed and signed into law by the president.
Other people attending the event include LTG Darryl A. Williams, 60th Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy West Point, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, other community leaders, members of the post office and family and friends of August.
August was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medals and Combat Action Badge.