Michael Mantenuto wasn’t your average veteran. Mantenuto had already lead two very different lives before he gave up everything to join the Army. He was a gifted a hockey player, and had a successful career in Hollywood. While news of his suicide comes as a shock to those who knew him, it is part of an appalling trend in America’s veteran population.
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Mantenuto once dreamed of playing hockey. He worked diligently and even played or the University of Maine’s hockey team. He was successful on the Division I team, but wanted to do more off the ice.
As a junior, he transferred to the University of Massachusetts at Boston to take theater classes. When Disney began casting actors for a film adaptation of the 1980 U.S. hockey team’s game against Russia, Mantenuto was a natural choice.
Mantenuto talked with The Globe about acting on the ice. “To be able to combine the acting, all the expression, the hockey, and be able to segue from one career that I loved so much to another where I wanted my life to go . . . It was pretty special.”
Mantenuto kept acting. He was in the 2006 film “Dirtbags” and the 2008 “Surfer, Dude.”
Then, feeling a desire to do something more, he joined the Army. He was part of the 1st Special Forces Group.
The 35-Year-Old was found Monday, in his car. Police in Des Moines, WA, say he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Colonel Guillaume Beaurpere, Group Commander, issued this statement on Facebook:
Michael left behind a wife and two children.