Local News

Parents await injured son's return from Afghanistan

Posted February 23, 2010
Updated February 24, 2010

— Drucilla and Jim Matea, of Henderson, learned over the weekend that their son, a Camp Lejeune-based Marine, was injured in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Steven Matea's job was to neutralize and disarm bombs and IEDs. The 33-year-old was severely wounded Saturday when a Taliban missile exposed.

“It's a nightmare," Drucilla Matea said Tuesday. “The first thing that goes through a mother’s mind is has his legs been blown off? Does he have permanent head trauma?”

Steven Matea suffered injuries to his legs and chest.

“One of the lungs was pierced,” Jim Matea said.

Despite his wounds, the Marine was lucky to survive the blast.

“The Marine that was beside him died,” Drucilla Matea said.

A graduate of Southern Vance High School and East Carolina University, Steven Mateo was on his fourth tour overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“He’s real dedicated,” Jim Matea said. “He would never even dream about passing this obligation to somebody else."

Steven Matea was still in Afghanistan Tuesday, waiting to be flown to Germany, and then to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Drucilla Matea plans to travel there with her daughter-in-law to be with him. Jim Matea is staying behind to care for his 4-year-old grandson.

Doctors say Steven Matea, who is scheduled to be promoted to gunnery sergeant, should make a full recovery.


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  • wildcat Feb 24, 2010

    How many more lives will be taken;how many more will be injured before this war ends for good?

  • wildcat Feb 24, 2010

    Sorry to hear of this young man's injuries. But the family should be thankful that they will see him alive. That is what counts. Many families who have sons and daughters in service are having to deal with the death of their ones.

  • concerncitizen Feb 24, 2010

    Thank You, Sgt Matea. God bless you and your family...

  • sssh.. whisper Feb 24, 2010

    Thank you soldier.. your time spent overseas to protect us not just once or twice, but four times! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family that you make a full recovery and are able to be at peace with the other soldiers you were with that did not survive. Thank you for all that you do to protect the USA and it's people. You are a true hero.

  • tatermommy52 Feb 24, 2010

    He is a star in the flag...

  • Groovy Feb 24, 2010

    God Bless Sgt Matea. Thank you for all you have done!

  • SouthernLady05 Feb 24, 2010

    Wow, what a service this man has given all of us! I am extremly thankful for him, and our entire military... as they allow us the freedoms we so often take for granted. I couldn't help but notice the father's use of the word "Obligation". ("He’s real dedicated,” Jim Matea said. “He would never even dream about passing this obligation to somebody else.") How blessed are we that this young man felt it his obligation to serve his country? We need more American's like Staff Sgt. Steven Matea. At only 33, his sense of patriotism far supercedes most American Citizens. I can't help but be proud. I wish him the best recovery possible, lord knows it won't be easy or speedy. My thoughts and prayers go to him and his family, especially his wife and child, and I wish for his family patience and understanding.

  • wahaka63 Feb 24, 2010

    God Bless your son for the service to our beautiful country. I wish him a full recovery.

  • shadowwolf Feb 24, 2010

    God bless all of you and give you strength during this time of extreme stress. My son-in-law and brother-in-law are in Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel your pain.

  • just my2cents Feb 24, 2010

    Thank you and your family for the sacrifices made for our freedom. I pray for a quick and total recovery. You are an American Hero.