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Meet Matt

"It's time to show these crooked politicians what leadership is and how to properly represent the people of Virginia." 

Matt Strickland Military.jpg

At the age of 17, Matt Strickland joined the United States Army to escape the gang violence of the neighborhoods where he was raised. 

Matt witnessed the violence that took the lives of many of his friends and his oldest brother, Timmy, who was killed in June of 1996. 

Inspired by his grandfather, who served as an Infantryman with the 3rd Army under General Patton in World War II, Matt enlisted in the Army in 2001.

After completing basic and advanced training, Matt received orders to his first duty station, 25th Infantry, at Ft. Lewis, WA. He reported to 25th Infantry on September 10th, 2001, not knowing the next day life as we once knew it would change forever.

 

He watched the towers crumble and fall as he sat in the chow hall. As a 17-year-old teenager, Matt knew he had a full life ahead of him, but he was ready to give it up in defense of his country. Matt spent most of the next ten years in Iraq & Afghanistan defending his country. 

 

Matt’s service to his country includes multiple deployments as a private military contractor as well. He served on Blackwater’s Counter Assault Team until 2010 when he accepted a position as an Intelligence Analyst back in Virginia. In 2014, ISIS began sweeping through Iraq, killing innocent civilians fleeing for safety. Matt could not sit back and watch, so he deployed once again in 2014 to join the fight against ISIS. In 2016, after fighting ISIS for two years, Matt hung up his combat boots.

 

This journey home was different. The previous two years allowed Matt to reflect on the legacy outside of combat he wanted to leave for his children. Cooking has always been one of Matt’s hobbies and biggest passions, and owning a restaurant was always his ultimate goal.

Memorial Day weekend, 2016, Matt opened the window on his first food truck, Gourmeltz. It quickly became a success, and he and his wife, Maria, grew from one truck to three trucks in just over a year. In February 2018, he sold the food trucks and opened the doors to the restaurant version of Gourmeltz. Gourmeltz continued to grow in success, and everything was great until 2020, when the government began using the Coronavirus as an excuse to control society.

 

Gourmeltz opened without restrictions, ensuring citizens’ constitutional rights were not infringed upon, regardless of the consequences. Matt and Maria opposed the unconstitutional mandates. The people stood with Gourmeltz, and the restaurant was filled with Patriots from open to close. 

 

Despite numerous threats and attempts to shut down Gourmeltz by the state and federal government, he remained open and stood with the people. The Attorney General of Virginia sued Matt in an attempt to shut their doors, but he won. It restored his hope for our country’s future.

Through his fight against the tyrannical government, Matt realized a void in Virginia politics. None of his elected officials stood beside him in his fight against Northam and the overreaching mandates; they were silent on the issue. He wants to show these idle politicians what leadership is and how to represent the people they serve. That catalyst sparked Matt’s interest in running for State Senate.

 

Matt is a fifth-generation Virginian. This state and this country mean everything to him. He will not retreat, nor will he allow these corrupt politicians to ignore the values that built the greatest nation this world has ever seen.

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