KITFEBRUARY 25, 1971 - AUGUST 7, 2002
Technical Sergeant Christopher Alan Matero, 31, a Combat controller for the 123rd Special Tactics Flight of the Kentucky Air National Guard, died from injuries sustained in a US Air Force MC-130H crash during a training flight in Puerto Rico, 7 August 2002.
Matero joined the active-duty Air Force in 1992. After going through combat control training at Keesler Air Force Base in 1993 her earned his Combat Control beret. His first assignment was with the 314th Combat Control Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Four years later, he became a master instructor at the 342nd Training Squadron's combat control school at Pope AFB, N.C.
He earned a Community College of the Air Force associate degree in airway science in 1998 and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from Campbell University in 2001.
Matero left active duty in 2001 to serve in the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, Kentucky National Guard. That year, he was on temporary duty in Morocco when the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place. Soon after he returned, he and his unit were called to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan, where he earned the Bronze Star in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2002, he was called to duty with the Special Operations Command-South in Puerto Rico. Not long before he died at age 31, he learned about his selection for commissioning as an officer.
Matero's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
Sgt Matero is survived by his wife, Roneisa, his daughter Brianna, and his son Dante; his father Frank Matero, brothers Robert, John, and Michael; and a strong support network of aunts, uncles and extended family.