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Press Release
December 23, 2008
Oregon Army National Guard soldier and veteran from Operation Iraqi Freedom to play for the million
Staff Sgt. Matt Zedwick, a member of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 162 Infantry, Oregon Army National Guard based in Corvallis, will make his appearance on a special two hour Deal or No Deal on Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. This special will air Christmas evening from 8 - 10 p.m. on NBC.

Iraq veteran and modern day hero, Zedwick was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star after he pulled his squad leader from their burning HMMWV after it hit an IED in 2004. He became the first Oregon soldier to receive this honor since WWII. The Silver Star is the third highest medal a soldier can receive.

Matt is currently a student at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Summers he typically works for his father in Bend, Ore. as a brick mason. He spent a good deal of time in his youth in the Salem, Ore. area as well as he also has relatives here.

Matt submitted his application last year and was notified that he had been chosen to appear on the show just four days after his wedding. Matt and his new bride Kristin postponed their honeymoon in order to play for the million dollar case. He hopes to be able to use his winnings to provide for his new bride and to donate some money to a charity for children who lost their parents in the war in Iraq. His wife formerly Kristin Van Dusen grew up Astoria and is also currently a student at Oregon State.

The Army has further honored Matt by creating a character in his likeness for the America's Army Real Heroes program which tells the stories of heroic Soldiers. As part of the program, Matt is featured in the America's Army computer game and even has his own action figure (or as the Banker refers to it . . . a "doll."

Matt's father and brother live in Bend, Ore, his mother and another brother live in Palm Springs, Calif. and has aunts and uncles in Salem, Ore.

Matt will provide media interviews following the airing of the show and can be contacted through the Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office.

Photo & Docs:

Zedwick Silver Star pinning: Maj. General Peter Chiarelli, the Division Commander in Iraq pins the Silver Star on Sgt. Zedwick.

NUP_1324_0884: Matt and his bride, Kristen arrive on the set in Santa's sleigh.

1092.jpg - Howie Mandel is amazed at the enthusiasm and audience support given to Staff Sgt. Matt Zedwick.

Soldier_R side - This is the America's Army Real Action figure

Attached is also a narrative on the circumstances surrounding the awarding of the Silver Star.
Contact Info:
Kay Fristad
503-931-5179 cell or work 503-584-3917