CWII Johnny V. Mata

PECOS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Ahead of Memorial Day, we at ABC Big 2 News spoke with families of fallen soldiers from across the Basin about the importance of the holiday. One woman from Pecos said her brother, CWII Johnny V. Mata gave his life for his country nearly two decades ago.

Mata joined the United States Army in 1986 hoping to provide a better life for his family.

“He was a great brother,” Mata’s sister, Rosa Salinas said. “Strong. Always trying to make his siblings stronger in body and mind. He was very athletic and intelligent. He was needing to provide for his growing family and, coming from a small rural town, the military was his best option. He knew he could provide a good life for himself and his family.” 

Mata served until 2003 when he was killed in the ambush of Nasariyah, Iraq.

Salinas said Mata “fought till the end and saved several lives from his maintenance company”. She called Mata an expert in his field and said his fellow soldiers considered him a leader and a friend. She also said it’s important to her that people remember her brother’s name.

“I would like to add that although Johnny was my brother, (all) military personnel should be thanked for their sacrifice to our country. Whether it be time spent away from their family and friends or by giving the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I could go on forever speaking about Johnny because he taught me so much in the short time we had, but most of all I want for people to never forget his name… CWII Johnny V. Mata.”