Local News

Henderson Marine gets Purple Heart from Obama

Posted March 1, 2010

— A Camp Lejeune Marine whose hometown is Henderson received a Purple Heart medal directly from his commander-in-chief.

Staff Sgt. Steven Matea, 33, was one of 12 injured service members who got a visit from President Barack Obama Sunday morning at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Obama presented the Purple Heart medal to Matea then, his father, Jim Matea, said.

Matea was severely wounded Feb. 20 in Afghanistan when a Taliban missile exploded. He suffered injuries to his legs and chest, including a pierced lung. A comrade next to him was killed.

A graduate of Southern Vance High School and East Carolina University, Matea was on his fourth tour overseas to Iraq or Afghanistan. His job is to neutralize and disarm bombs and improvised-explosive devices.

“He’s real dedicated,” Jim Matea said in an interview a few days after his son was injured. “He would never even dream about passing this obligation to somebody else."

Doctors say Steven Matea, who is scheduled to be promoted to gunnery sergeant, should make a full recovery. He is married and has a 4-year-old son.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 3, 2010

    That's good news for him, miketroll3572, but you understood my point, right?

    Being Republican means that no one will attack your service record if you ever run for office...unlike the Republicans who attacked a tremendously-decorated war Hero, John Kerry, when he ran for POTUS.

    If you recall, Kerry earned multiple Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star in battle...but was attacked mercilessly by Republicans, most of whom avoided the same war Kerry bravely fought in.

  • wildcat Mar 1, 2010

    President Obama is a great president and first.

  • rargos Mar 1, 2010


    At least Obama won't have to worry about calling him a "corpse-man" like he did at a recent speech :


    (BTW, Bush would have been crucified for pronouncing it this way).

    Again, congradulations!

  • pappy1 Mar 1, 2010

    Thanks for your service, Marine! Now, to the greater point. Shouldn't we all received some sort of medal from Mr. Obama? He is greatly wounding us all.

  • garnertoy Mar 1, 2010

    good job and many thanks

  • miketroll3572 Mar 1, 2010

    And for your sake, soldier, I hope that in 30 years if run as the Democratic Presidential candiate...you know that you'll need to defend your war metals from a bunch of right-wing chickenhawks, who clearly won't value your service.

    Got news for you nimrod, he is a big time Rebublican. I know this guy well.

  • jhouse3 Mar 1, 2010

    THANK YOU! for your service brother.

    glad you are stateside and recovering. may your mates RIP.

  • jmagee Mar 1, 2010

    thank you for your service and sacifice you make people in Henderson proud. Thank you for giving your time to protect my family.

  • Tarheel born Mar 1, 2010

    God bless and God speed in your recovery. May your service be appreciated by the rest your country as it is by your family and friends. I salute you and the rest of the service men and women in uniform.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Mar 1, 2010

    Ohhh..Rahhh....thanks Staff Sergeant Matea, well deserved for a job well done....God Speed on your recovery!!