Matt has covered the men and women of the US military for over 13 years and understands the universal need of individuals to be acknowledged for their work and commitment. A staff sergeant with the 104th Fighter Wing, Matt has earned numerous decorations and awards since joining the military after the 9/11 attacks. A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he has served as a Soldier and Airmen during a distinguished career that saw him cover stories from across the world. Covering the Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors who embody the strength and pride of our country is an honor for Matt.
Matt has been awarded Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Services Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Medal with Gold Border, 104th Fighter Wing NCO of the Year and Air Force Commendation Medal, among several decorations. His articles have appeared in national and international news outlets including the Springfield Republican, Air Force News and Navy Times.
Respect and recognition are powerful and validate our work. In the military, service members receive awards and decorations for exemplary performance of their duties. The civilian business sector has no equivalent. Matt is positioned to articulate each personal story. ERS is not a blog or a boilerplate platform but an innovative form of “personal journalism.”
Colonel once told him that if “you don’t write it down, it never happened” and he was right.
Allyson is a multi-media fanatic with a focus on video, audio and photography. Her work spans news, military, sports, profile, commentary, and memoir. She is an advocate for low-income children and taught journalism at Springfield’s High School of Commerce as well as New England Public Radio’s Media Lab. She was part of a pioneer program at the Hampshire County Jail to teach the principles of journalism to individuals living in incarceration, which provided them with college credits through the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her students learned to use storytelling as a means of critical thinking. In order to tell their stories, students must analyze the world in which their stories exist in and use journalism method to draw attention to injustices and hold people in power accountable. This work is called advocacy journalism. Allyson strongly believes that sharing stories bridges the gaps between people and has the power to create revolutionary change.
Allyson routinely published stories with the Amherst Wire, UMass Athletics, New England Public Radio, and her personal blog where nobody reads it. Her work has also appeared in Western Mass newspapers and at the 104th Fighter Wing where she was a public affairs intern.
In her free time, Allyson enjoys travel, recording audio books, thinking about writing, talking about writing, finally getting around to writing, filming YouTube videos and writing stories about her dysfunctional family. She spent much of her undergraduate journalism career sending in articles to her editor with prolific use of the Oxford comma as a small act of teenage rebellion. Ultimately, she was narrowly robbed of a 4.0 by one B+ in an 8 a.m. class, but still graduated Magna cum laude (and a semester early at that!) from University of Massachusetts Amherst with degrees in journalism and linguistics in December 2017.
Find more of Allyson’s work on her blog, Stories for Strangers.