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Sgt. Matthew A. Proulx, wounded twice in Iraq with National Guard March 5, 1967 -- April 4, 2007

Services for Army National Guard Sgt. Matthew A. Proulx will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Amigone Funeral Home, 6050 Transit Road, Lancaster.

Sgt. Proulx died unexpectedly April 4 in his Buffalo home. He was 40.

Born in Stamford, Conn., he graduated from Stamford Catholic High School and earned a bachelor's degree in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

He worked as an assistant for several leading New York City studio photographers and was the first assistant named to the Advertising Photographers of New York board of representatives, where he started its "Assistants Roundtable" program.

He compiled his experience into "The Photographer's Assistant Handbook," published in 2000, and was hailed in photography circles as one of the best in his business.

Sgt. Proulx was beginning to establish himself as a photographer in his own right in 2001 but abandoned his career after the attack on the World Trade Center and enlisted in the New York Army National Guard.

He was wounded twice during a tour of duty in the Iraq War in 2004-05, once in the thigh when insurgents ambushed his convoy and later in the head and neck when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Since returning from Iraq, he was assigned full time to a color guard, representing the military services at funerals.

Sgt. Proulx also enjoyed gardening and target shooting.

He had been a Buffalo resident since 2003, moving here to be with Colleen A. Grzelewski, also with the Army National Guard. They met while they were serving on state active duty guarding bridges and tunnels in New York City in 2003. They were married in January.

"He was all about integrity and all about helping others," she said. "He was 100 percent soldier. At heart, he wanted what was right for his country."

In addition to his wife, survivors include his parents, Roger A. and Nancy, and two sisters, Jackie Litkowsky and Kate Larson.


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