AMD PC Build: The Rock of the Marne

by and  •  Jul 29, 2014

Sometimes things come to you and you know you simply have to help. This is the story of U.S. Army Sergeant Matthew Maclean and how AMD is helping shape his future after his military service.

a Request For Help

What do you do when a medically retired U.S. Army Sergeant wounded in the line of duty reaches out and asks for help to make something more of themselves after the events of war has changed lifes’ direction? This is exactly the question that AMD was posed in a lone email when Sgt Matt Maclean reached out and asked how he might make something of his new life after service as a PC builder and technician.


My name is Matthew MacLean and I am 28 years old. I am a disabled Iraq vet and a proud father of two small boys. I am writing you in hopes you can guide me in the right direction. I’m currently am in such physical condition that I am completely unable to work. And I sit at home stir crazy and starving for something to define me as a person after my life as a soldier.

I live off of an extremely fixed income and each month I break even but am unable to obtain and work for the things I would like to provide for myself and my boys that would bring a little more joy to our daily lives. I have taken classes and have been learning for the past 3 years how to repair and build computers. And have obtained certifications for both PC and Apple computers. And I have my Apple tech certification. I work off of a 7 year old AMD HP laptop and a 5 year old AMD desktop I built from parts.

I am an avid gamer on console of course. And I tinker a modify old and new AMD builds for the Nintendo GameCube Wii and Wii U. My combat injuries hinder my speech and cognitive abilities and greatly cripple my social and emotional skills.

Nothing embarrasses me more than asking for help. But in my situation I suppose I am lucky to be living and lucky to be under my own roof. I am and will always be an avid fan of AMD and have pushed your products to every one I encounter.

Thank you for providing the world with great products and at very competitive prices.

Thanks you for your time and for your consideration.

– SGT (retired) Matthew R MacLean


The Soldier

Matthew MacLean was born in 1985 in Dayton Ohio and joined the US Army when he was 17 years old to be a 13D (Field Artillery Automated tactical Data System Specialist). His assignment was based with the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Benning, Georgia. During his time in service he deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan spending most of his time working at combat outposts attached to infantry units.

During his deployments he has seen things many do not and not all of it combat. He has been in many of Saddam Hussein’s palaces, touched Jonah’s tomb and walked through the streets spoken of in the Bible. He is proud of his work helping to train Georgian and Iraqi military members and being part of a successful MiTT team.

During his 2007-08 rotation he and his unit were exposed to multiple IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks and in one incident knocked him out of guard tower and damaging his spine in the fall. Additionally he received a stab wound to the leg from a detainee and endured a fair share of firefights.

Sandstorm Baghdad Re-enlistment

AMD Accepts The Challenge

The road to hell is paved with good intention, but the path to success meant some serious hardware had to be gathered and when James Prior, an AMD Public Relations Manager, heard about this soldiers story, he not only supported this project, he pledged AMD’s support to help. Mr. Prior has worked with us here at Off Duty Gamers over the past year, so when he saw a military member asking for assistance he saw an opportunity to accomplish more than just the parts to build a PC and gave us a call. We were pitched an ambitious and aggressive plan where he asked our team to link up with Matt and provide the support and assistance to back up the work he’d be doing to help make this a success and provide the ongoing future support that a team of military gamers and PC builders can offer.

AMD has pledged to:

  1. Provide the material support for a starter PC to allow Matt to build, grow and showcase his skills
  2. Introduce him to Off Duty Gamers and foster support through a common military bond
  3. Enroll Matt in the AMD Partner Program as a system builder

ODG Goal

The team here at Off Duty Gamers believe that it is an honor to assist those who have served their nation honorably in military service. For wounded warriors, our effort is to promote veterans learning new skills and applying themselves after service to combat PTSD and provide a healthy, prosperous environment for themselves and their family. Far too many veterans fade from life after service and are unsure what they have to offer, question themselves or are unable to find work to focus on and provide an outlet for the unique mental state that life after combat can create. To this end we are proud to be working to realize Matt’s goal to become a PC Builder/Technician an honored to be included.

Off Duty Gamers will also work with Matt moving forward to support him with his goal but also help him through social gaming and interactions that continue to tell him that he is not alone and that the veteran community is always here to help. Where military service ends, we begin.

The Build



Matt went to work right away as soon as the parts came in. It was a bit of a process that he broke up with some good natured fun, as we can see below.

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Build Completion

The final build is a beauty. James and AMD took the extra time to customize the case, giving it a familiar battle worn look that makes each of us a little jealous.

SAM_0495 Ktw2AXma SAM_0466 SAM_0470 SAM_0471 SAM_0472 SAM_0473 SAM_0474 SAM_0475 SAM_0476 SAM_0481 SAM_0482 SAM_0484 SAM_0485 SAM_0486 SAM_0487 SAM_0489 SAM_0490 SAM_0492 SAM_0493

test Run

There were some speedbumps at first, as we can all relate to. But with a little assistance and guidance from the team, Matt was able to get things kicked in high gear, and is enjoying some quality time with the baby, and the kids too.

SAM_0522 photo 3 (6) photo 4 (6) photo 5 (6) photo 5 (10) SAM_0462 SAM_0499

Mission Accomplished

While our ongoing support of Matt and his family will move forward this build is a success. Many thanks goes to James Prior and AMD for stepping up and supporting military veterans and providing the means for Matt to provide for and support his family.