"Very team oriented, very service oriented towards helping people and in both of those careers that's what you do," Matz said.
In addition to over 30-years in law enforcement, Sheriff Matz served over 20-years in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. A combination that he admits was challenging to his family life.
"But certainly I did miss a lot of birthdays and Christmases. As long as the time you spend with your family is quality time, and I think the boys and I made the most of that. And we still continue to do so," Matz said.
For Sheriff Matz, quality time has meant sharing a passion for service with his son. Like his father, Johnathon Matz served in the National Guard and is currently a Dane County Sheriff's Deputy. When Johnathon was called to active duty in Iraq, Sheriff Matz stepped in to help.
"I was able to get back in and as a Master Sergeant with the sister unit, his sister unit of the same battalion," Matz said.
Father and son supervised a military prison and spoke everyday. With the exception of a few, tense moments.
"There were a couple of occasions where we were hit with indirect fire and I didn't know his status because it was in the area where he was working," Matz recalled. "And that was difficult as a father and as a solider, as a supervisor."
But father and son returned home to their families. Matz flew this Sheriff's Department flag in Iraq. It serves as a symbol of the experience that continues to shape their law enforcement careers and their lives.
"I am very, very thankful that I had the opportunity to serve with him in Iraq for a very noble cause and I think that we did make a difference, both of us," Matz said.
Local Five's Terry Kovarik has more.
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