2017 HERO[series]

Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Veteran: Matthew Mattiace
Artist: Alex Laney

Video: Kelly Rose Magnusson
Venue: The Home Depot
Partners: The Home Depot Foundation


As a special project with The Home Depot, [HAS HEART] partnered Atlanta-based illustrator Alex Laney with then Home Depot employee and Veteran, Matthew Mattiace for a special HERO[series] project.

Matthew is a U.S. Navy Veteran who proudly served his country in the depths of a submarine. A sailor who still refers to other Navy veterans as Shipmates, Matthew carries the tradition that keeps the Navy’s core values: Honor, Courage and Commitment as the guiding principle to his life as a father to his son.

For his first of two designs, the stars represent his passion for country, propellers define his service as a Machinist mate on a submarine, waves in “Runs Deep” represent the ocean where he lived on deployment, and of course, the American Flag acts as the anchor of his life of service.


One of Matt’s most precious moments was when he first cracked open the hatch and was warmly welcomed by the sun peeking through. As he opened the hatch completely, he was able to see an endless horizon of water all around him while dolphins played on the waters’ edge of the sub. 

Within his second design is a collage of symbols that represent the many feelings he experienced while underwater during his deployments at sea. Juxtaposed with his new life of service at Home Depot is a tree that is embedded with the things that matter most to him: family, integrity and service.