Mat Jasieniecki is a veteran of the United States Army and the fourth President of the Illini Veterans RSO. Born in Communist-era Poland, Mat was not even a year old before his father, Marek, drowned during a routine swim. Mat and his mother, Jolanta, immigrated to Chicago in the summer of 1989, months before the Berlin Wall fell. Devastated by her husband’s death, Mat’s mom relied heavily on her parents to help raise him.
After graduating from Reavis High School in Burbank, Illinois, Mat enlisted in the Army in the Fall of 2004 as a mechanic. His first duty station was Fort Wainwright, Alaska. From there, Mat deployed with the highly-decorated 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team on a 12-month tour to Mosul, Iraq. On the last day of their tour, Mat’s unit was extended indefinitely and sent south to Baghdad. Mat considers his 16-month tour with the 172nd to be the most formative period of his life.
While at UIUC, Mat was a regular at various Illini Veterans functions. During his presidency, he and his committee started the first Annual Illini Veterans Memorial 5K Run/Walk and raised close to $10,000 for the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education. As far as academics go, Mat studied Russian and East European Studies under some of the leading professors in that field. His goal was to secure an intelligence analyst position with a certain 3-letter government agency. He instead took an offer from a Fortune 500 financial services firm in his senior year.
Currently, Mat lives in Dallas, Texas with his fiance, Adrienne, and their two adopted cats. He is a Financial Advisor for USAA at their branch in Addison, Texas. Mat holds the Series 7 and 66 Securities licenses. In his spare time, Mat runs a blog at page172.com and writes literary fiction. His latest novella “The Lives of Dogs: An Average Soldier’s Tale” is available on Amazon.com.
Congratulations, Mat, on your published work!