Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine Lance Cpl. John J. Mattek, Jr.

24, of Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
Mattek died from wounds received as a result of an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, on June 8, 2005. He was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on June 13, 2005.

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It’s 3/25/2018 and still thinking of you every day and the sweet last message you left me thru your letter you left behind for just incase : ("
Kelly Craig of Rhinelander WI

"Hey brother, It's Ike. We miss you."
Ike of the LAR brotherhood

"It's been 8 years now my friend, I still smile at the good times we had, and tear up realizing there will be no more. You may be gone, but you will not be forgotten. Thank you for your service to our country and for your friendship."
of WI

"Although I never met John, he will always be a part of my life. Let me explain. My stepson George served with John in Iraq. They were like brothers. John had such a huge impact on George that when his son was born, to honor him, he named him Mattek. Mattek is my Grandson and I love him more than words can say. He is a typical 5 year old boy who plays T-ball and wants to be a fireman. He is to young to understand where his name came from but we can't wait to tell him all about the hero he was named after.
As he gets older we're sure that people will ask Mattek about his first name and when they do he will proudly tell everyone about John J. Mattek Jr..... His memory will always live on."
Bob Doyle of New York

"You probably never knew me more than just a youngster coming to lift with the “older guys” your senior year. You, Wojo, and all the other guys were legends to a little 7th grader like me. I remember looking up to you and being amazed by the type of person you were. You were extraordinarily nice and had time for everyone but not afraid to call someone out for something you didn't think was right, no matter who they were. Still to this day I have never met anyone with a presence like yours. You demanded respect and attention without wanting, needing, or asking for it but by being the example to follow and not being afraid to do ANYTHING.

I still have your senior speech on video and a copy of your funeral program. And still get chills watching the video and reading your letter from time to time. I know we all see the same things and just look at them differently, but I try every day to adopt your view of the world. To trust in your values and morals to guide you in living life as hard as you can till the end. To see what's right and see what's wrong. To fight like hell for what is good, and to stand up and be a force against what is bad. You were a man of incredible character with a rare grip on reality in your brief 24 years that most don't have in their full lifetime.

Your memory is not the only thing that lives on in those who were lucky enough to know you. Live hard. Drive fast. Take chances. Know that death is inevitable but fully living is a decision not everyone makes. These are things that will also live on in everyone you’ve inspired, me included. To you, I was probably nothing more than just another little kid. But you treated me no differently than you did everyone else, and for that you will always be a hero of mine who has and will inspire me every day of my life. You were a rare one Johnny. One of the truly great ones. Just wanted to say thank you for something that was probably so little and insignificant to you, you probably didn’t think twice about it. But a little thing that will forever inspire me to be a better person to everyone I meet."

"Johnny..."Our Johnny" I miss you so very much, it just is so hard without. I am so very proud of you and so very proud to say I am you Mom. Love and Miss you My Johnny Angel."
Marsha Mattek of Deerbrook WI USA

"06.13.2005 a date of great sadness, sorrow and loss. 05.01.2011 a day of great joy, freedom and pride in the USA. Two dates that will forever be engraved on our minds. You were a part of the pride and success of this day today. We miss you and love you and wish you were here to celebrate the USA never ending foundation of freedom and perseverance on the war on terrorism. Osama bin Laden is dead. 'O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.'"
of Close to Your Heart and Home

"To me you will always be a red Mustang, the American flag, white T-shirts and a wide smile. No matter how much time passes, I still find myself thinking about you. No regrets, just lots of smiles."

"Peace my Brother, Peace."
Lazy of Oswego, IL

"It has been 5 years and I still do not have the words to express what a great emptiness that still lingers in my soul with your passing, and in the same respect how very proud I am of you; I remember the day you came into Cellcom and told me you enlisted and I told you how proud I was of you. I laughed the times you lost your cell phone in the water, once a lake and once a hot tub, I replaced your phone the first time and then the second time all with in a VERY short period, I was not supposed to the second time, but I took it upon myself to do so with NO regrets, I remember you telling me, Yvette don't tell my mom, she will kill me; Oh how I laughed and you just gave that big smile. I loved the way you would talk proudly of your family, and with love.

The last phone I gave you was the kyocera they put with you when they laid you to rest. For some reason it touched my heart deeply. I will remember you with such deep gratitude for the laughs, smiles and tenderness in your heart. One of the many things that will stay with me, is the way you would always pull up in your car and jump out with the car still running and leave the car door open, always go, go ,go! Sometimes we can meet someone who just touches our lives in a way that no one else has and that my friend is you. I only new you for 2 years, but I am so thankful for those 2 short years. I miss you Johnny."
Yvette-Sharee' of Antigo, WI

"Don't weep for me
O' Land of the free
When it was my time to fall
'Twas for my country's call
'Twas for the land that I loved,
That I gave my all
And for the land that I loved,
I did freely give
And in her freedom
And her courage
I'll continue to live"
of Antigo, WI

"Miss you, Johnny. Thinking of you today and always."
of WI

"i always thought that i'd see you again..."
Amanda of Wausau, WI

"Happy Birthday Johnny, always and forever in our hearts!"
of Antigo, WI

"Happy birthday Johnny! Just like every day I thought of you. Today my mind is filled with all the what ifs....what if you were here today? What if you came back and got to wear #34 again? What if you never left? How different would everyone's lives be? We were so blessed in getting to spend the short amount of time with you that we did. I'm grateful for that, yet I feel so selfish for wanting more. You gave us more than enough, more than we ever could have asked for. The smiles, the laughter is what I remember best about you. Still missing you..."

"I can't believe tomorrow will be four years. It's difficult to relive that moment I found out, and looking back on it stirs up those emotions again. So much has happened since then while that part of my life seems frozen in time. I often wonder how different things would have been if that phone call never came. But you left me something very special when you left, and quite possibly the best gift a person could ask for - a family. I would never have expected to develop the type of relationship I have with your family. They mean more to me than you know. Well, then again, I'm sure you do know because I think this was all part of the plan. So since I can’t have you, I have the next best thing – the love, support, kindness, and care of a truly remarkable family. The Mattek’s. But I can't help but be angry sometimes because this time I spend with them should be with you too. I make all of these new wonderful memories, holding on to the memory of you. I'm going to Hodag this year! So finally after all the times you told me about it, I'm getting there. I’ll also be there to help Matt ring in his 21st birthday! I’ll be sure to do him justice – Johnny style. It’s probably a good thing you’re not there for that – he might not have survived the night!! And I will be there thinking of you and how I wish you were with me. I always wish you are with me. Every time I get off the plane in WI and your Mom and sister come to pick me up, I wish you were there. And every time I go back to Wilmington and hit the bars, I wish you were there. And most of all, I wish every time I opened up the door from a long day at work, you were there. Of course I know you are always with me in spirit, but I just miss you. So much. Reading through these messages left about you just reminds me how lucky I am. You are amazing. You’re family is amazing. And I feel blessed for having you and now them. So thank you for that. Thanks for being my guardian angel – I know you are always looking after me."
That Girl

"I thought of you on this day that marks 4 years. Know that we miss you more than our hearts can express and we pray for you and your family everyday.

"You may wonder if it mattered, if your service and sacrifice made a difference, if it stood the test of time," he said. "You may rest easy. I have seen your service live."

It is because of you that we are able to live the lives that we do.

Love You!"

"Johnny-It's been four long years. I'll never forget the moment when I heard the news. You are still missed every single day. I wonder what things would be like if you were here today. My life became a little more gray when you left. Still missing you like crazy (and will always!)."

"On this Memorial Day 2009...

As Americans, many of us forget why Memorial Day is a holiday. Many Wisconsinites believe it is the opening weekend of camping season or just an extended weekend with a paid day off.

Some merchants in the area use the holiday to promote sales without mention of what the day means. If you use "Memorial Day" in your sales ad, it should include a "thank you" to the ones who gave all, or a discount to the Gold Star families who lost a loved one while in service.

As American's we need to bring the solemn and sacred spirit back to Memorial Day. We need to return to its traditional day of remembrance and observance of our service members who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedoms.

I will pause at 3:00 p.m. today to give thanks to you Johnny that I have the freedoms that I have.

Love and miss you with all my heart.

"A nation that does not remember its heroes will not long endure." - President Lincoln"

"Be with your daddy right now. John Deere Green:) Love you."

"the times great times we had
and the great times we planned,
why do I feel so damned
you made each day brighter
laughing, smiling and laughter
But you are gone and I am here
One day my friend,
we will share another beer."
of texas

"Touch down Tommy and Jen had a beautiful baby girl, Taylor and Yon and Tori had a cute little boy, Trig. You were there for both, we all know. Love you so much big bro!"
Jem of EC

"Merry Christmas. Thought of you and still miss you more than you know."
of Wisconsin

"Thank you, we miss you so very much"
of wisconsin

"Happy birthday a few days late. We drank to you on Friday with our old buddy JACK. We feel you around and miss you more than you know."
of Livin' It in Wisconsin

"Happy birthday, Champ!"

"Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Gladly did I live and gladly die...
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."
--Robert Louis Stevenson"

"Johnny, i'm in Iraq right back in Korean Village where we were back in 2005. There isnt a day that goes by where you dont come across my mind. I've been by the exact site numerous times and it saddens me everytime. we all miss you very much, you will never be forgotten. God Bless The Mattek family, Johnny was a great guy.

-Sgt Barter
Will Barter of Iraq

"I remember when Johnny was sent to supplement our company in Haiti. SSgt Kennedy told me we were getting a new driver and it was my job to train him up right. I don't think anything could have prepared me for Johnny. He had this awesome air of confidence about him all the while approaching life like a kid with a new bike and no fear. The guy talked so fast he had you convinced to go do something before you even realized he asked the question. Johnny stayed one of my best friends and before I knew it we were spinning donuts in his mustang every weekend in Wilmington jamming out to the Footloose soundtrack. He was the most giving man I ever met. And I am honored to have been able to serve with him and even more honored to have been able to call him my friend. I think I speak for the whole Wilmington Crew when I say you will never be forgotten. So in the words of Automatic Mattek himself, "Gotta go, See ya, Bye!""
Joushua Bailey of Baxter Springs KS

"I dreamt of you last night. There you were, larger than life. It made me miss you more than ever. I'll never forget you Johnny!"
You Know Who of Wisconsin

"June 24, 2008
To the family of Lance Cpl. John J. Mattek, Jr.:
John gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"I love you Johnny."

"Three years today...the memory really doesn't fade. You still are, and will always be, the reason why I smile."
You Know Who of Wisconsin

"To the family of:John J. Mattek,Jr. I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief. He died a hero defending freedom and we are so grateful for anyone defending our freedom.
Know that I am praying for the peace of God that surpasses all understanding for you and that one day we will all meet in Heaven where we will rest in the arms of Jesus.
If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with please call my Pastor at Gateway Community Church, Reverand John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd Covington Ga. 30016 Phone 770- 787- 1015 (fax)770-787-8215.Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew"

"I can't believe that it's been almost three years and how raw the pain still is. Songs on the radio constantly remind me of you; each and every time I hear them I feel that stinging in the back of my eyes and the tightening in my throat. Sometimes I can feel you watching over me and that just makes me miss you even more. Can't wait to see your smiling face again. Thanks for all of the laughter and warmth you brought into my life."
You Know Who in Wisconsin

"Johnny, lovin' the snow this winter in Wisconsin thanks for speaking to God and sending it our way. But what I wouldn't give for TX right now sitting on a beach with a beer. Always thinking of you. Prayers to your family."
of Wisconsin

"Johnny- Wisconsin is going to get HIT with snow and all I can think of right now is you and snowmobiling. You knew how to live it and you lived it well and took chances. Thanks for watching over me and giving me strength to live it just as well. Love you and I can't wait to take out a sled and ride with you by my side this winter. Know I think of you daily and send prayers up for your family."
One Who Misses You More Than You Know of WI

"Mattek Family,
I knew John in boot camp and SOI which was a short time. In that short time John left a lasting impact on myself. His stories of being on the farm, budies back home, or his weekend liberties in SOI had me laughing to tears. To this day i still tell his stories to my bros back home. They love them. John is an awesome guy who will be sorely missed as a friend and a Marine. I am deeply sorry for your loss and you are in my prayers."
Duncan Watkins of OKC, OK

"Happy birthday, another one spent without us. In my heart you are more alive than ever. Miss you, Johnny!"
You Know Who of Wisconsin

"Happy Birthday Marine...you are deeply, deeply missed.

"Happy Birthday, Johnny! I will always love you and miss you, and of course never forget you."
Susan of Wisconsin

"Dear Mattek Family-
My name is Major Justin Wallace, I had the opportunity to meet you briefly at the memorial service in Camp Lejeune. I was your son's company commander (E Co) when he was hit. I was nervous about shaking your hand much less talking to you about the incident that day, but I want you to know that your son as well as Nathan Clemons (killed on June 14th) occupy my thoughts daily. I was in a helicopter conducting a reconnaissance when up ahead near the town of Rutbah, I saw Johnny's vehicle on fire. I went up and talked to the pilots to get them to land and they told me the medevac helicopter was coming up behind us. Two other Marines were wounded in the attack as well. Johnny was the gunner, the vehicle commander (who was also one of my pltcmdrs) and one of the scouts. From the air, I could see the pltsgt preparing the landing zone and loading the wounded on to stretchers. I had the helecopter follow the medevac back to the camp and met them all being carried into the shock trauma plt. I will never forget that day or your son for the rest of my life. Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do for your family.
Major Justin Wallace of Camp Pendleton, CA


I still remember playing football with you and working out in the weight room. I miss talking with you whenever we would see each other and I will keep you in my prayers along with every soldier that has served and currently serving. I am proud of the fact that we both joined the military, although I am in the Army, I am proud to have known you and know where you have been because I too was there. I will never forget the sacrifice you have made and will keep you in my prayers forever."
SGT Derek Leach, US Army Infantry of Antigo, Wi

"Thank you, Johnny, for serving our country with such pride and integrity. Your actions will not be forgotten."
Steckbauer of Green Bay, WI

"On this memorial day, it is especially difficult to remember such an outstanding man. I am honored to say that I knew Johnny Mattek, Jr. and that he will forever remain a hero in my heart. Although we did not serve together in the Marines, I served and fought for the same beliefs that Johnny held, only I was in the United States Army. I had not seen Johnny since our high school graduation day, as I left for Basic Training the next morning. I had not returned to Antigo for several years because I was stationed all over the United States. Seeing that video of his speech at graduation brought me right back to 1999.
My memories of John range from student council to class president and even to the day he ran around the high school gym as Captain Poultry! He has exemplified what a leader is. I know that he is with the Commander of the Heavens watching over all of the brave men and women throughout the world keeping watch this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with you this sacred night as we honor those who have fought and gone before us. Some men only wish to accomplish what John has done in his lifetime. He is indeed a hero."
Molly Wroblewski of Green Bay, Wisconsin

I went to bootcamp On Oct. 16 2003 and John was in my platoon. I am glad to have met him and had him at times as a squad leader. John was the Best example of what any man should be in integrity and in honnor. God bless"

"mrs mattek this is keith you just sent me a picture of john and his highschool friends i thank you and am glad to have served with john, he is the best friend and marine anyone could of asked for. even better yet john has had crazy fun nights but he always kept his head straight and ours, i would like to offer myself as not to be john but, i would like you to know i will try to be a brother if needed and a son, but i can only say this that john was an awesome friend and i know in my heart he is here and he helped me come nback and the rest or us from platoon 3134 lima company, i was amazed by the way he would just draw you to him and would give anything to make him proud so i offer ,myself in the shadow of john. thank you so much for letting me get to know your son, semper fi and faith always,"
keith of michigan

"mrs mattek this is keith you just sent me a picture of john and his highschool friends i thank you and am glad to have served with john, he is the best friend and marine anyone could of asked for. even better yet john has had crazy fun nights but he always kept his head straight and ours, i would like to offer myself as not to be john but, i would like you to know i will try to be a brother if needed and a son, but i can only say this that john was an awesome friend and i know in my heart he is here and he helped me come nback and the rest or us from platoon 3134 lima company, i was amazed by the way he would just draw you to him and would give anything to make him proud so i offer ,myself in the shadow of john. thank you so much for letting me get to know your son, semper fi and faith always,"
keith of michigan

"I first met John at a leadership conference at the tech when we were in the 6th grade. All I could say was nothing because I had such a huge crush on him! I actually got to know John in the 7th grade, since our lockers were near eachother. Seeing him was certainly a good way to start your day! He was the person that could put a smile on your face by telling you you looked wonderful, even if you looked terrible! When someone needed help, he was always there. When my partner backed out for the 15-mile bike-a-thon for Student Council, John stepped in. I was happy he agreed to help me out by going with me, but I couldn't say I was really surprised because that was just the way he was. He would help anyone out at any time. Like when he'd offer several people a ride home in the 2-door Beretta (even though Katie was the one actually giving the rides home-thanks Katie!) He would give everything he could even if it got him nothing in return. He was the guy that got along with everyone; the guy the girls wanted to date and the guy the other guys envied. I am so glad I got to know John early and continued our friendship over the years. I know I am blessed to have such a wonderful person be a part of my life. So, thank you to the Mattek family for being you and for raising such a wonderful man! Know that you are in my prayers always and that every time I look up at the stars, I know John is staring down with that smile like no other! Love you all!"
Heidi Marciniak of Antigo, WI

"Johnny was one of my favorite people in high school. We had known each other since we had gone to Horizon pre-school together. I got to know him best with our involvement in track and working on the sets for the play. There was nothing that he couldn't do. And the perfect gentleman. In the cast and crew picture for "Wizard of Oz," I am wearing Johnny's football sweatshirt, as he insisted because I was cold. I miss him, but know that he gave the ultimate sacrifice to something he believed in and in doing that will always be remembered for his selflessness and unwaviering dedication. I was blessed to have known him, and will always remember the fun times. He was a true rarity."
Jillian M. of Milwaukee, WI

"To the Mattek family,
I am the fiance of LCPL Jensen who was stationed at Camp Pendleton CA,with your son. My fiance has had a hard time writing to you and expressing what Mattek's,(as my fiance calls him) friendship ment to him while they were both away from the same home, Wisconsin. But he wants you to know that he has many fond memories of Mattek, some how Mattek kept him smiling. Even though the lose is great it keeps my fiance motivated to do his best to serve Mattek's memory. So from both of us, God bless and when we hear the name John Mattek Jr. our memories are joyful."
Jensen of Elk Mound WI

"I have thought and thought over and over tonight what I could possibly say about brother-in-arms Lance Corporal Mattek. I have concluded there is nothing I can write that would show my truest thoughts, because somethings word cannot describe.

I am a grown man and I have to fight back tears after reading and hearing everything about John. His spirit touches me close, because he sounds much like myself. He did one thing I did not do and for that he is my hero with much respect - he died for his country.

I would like to thank John posthumously to the Mattek Family. I will remember John like I remember the other soldiers that fought by my side that did not come back home with me to see their families. In my path of success, I will remember what brought me there - motivation, the same motivations John lived by."
Jesse Rozmarynowski - Classmate of Jill's of Wausau, WI

"To the Matteks,
I am a distant relative of your family. I never met your son John, but after reading everything about him I wish I had. He sounds like a real Mattek. I attended his funeral and was amazed at the response from the community - John must have been a great man. Few times in my life have I been so proud.

God's richest blessings on your family."
Pastor John Mattek of Watertown, WI

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't sit and think about you. I see parts of you in someone else's smile, their eyes, their laughter, but it's never quite the same. I've cried so many tears, wishing that things could be different. Every day I thank god that I had you in my life, even though it was only for a little while. I miss your smiles, your letters, your random messages. I miss seeing you in that red Mustang. I'm holding on to every part of you that I can, and it never seems to be enough. Reliving every moment, every word, everything. I miss the way you would someone end up tangled up with me when we were alone. I feel selfish for wanting you back....I miss you Johnny and I can't wait to see you again. The silence is too much."
You know who of wisconsin

"You have left an impression in my heart that will last a lifetime. Throughout the years you taught me many things. You will never ever be forgotten. You and your family will always be in my prayers.
Thank you and we love you..."
NK of Antigo,WI

"Unfortunately my wife and I did not have the opportunity to meet Johnny but we heard all about him through my son, Lance Corporal Matthew “Matt” Sandt. Matt and Johnny were great friends and all we heard about was what Matt, Johnny and his other Marine buddies did while in NC. We will miss the opportunity to meet such a great man who was doing what he wanted to do. I know Matt will miss him a lot. To the parents of Johnny, you raised a wonderful son and as I am sure you are very proud of him and what he stood for and the hero he is. We are proud of him!"
Jim Sandt of Houston. Texas/USA

"John paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us in that he died fighting for the preservation of freedom. Certainly we understand that freedom is not free. John and those of his exceptional caliber instill and reflect the reality of how priviledged we are to be Americans.

On behalf of our department we want to commend the Mattek family for raising such a fine man. John's selflessness through his service and contributions to our country will forever be respected.

From us soldiers of the homeland to our fellow comrades overseas, we salute you and most sincerely Thank You."
Officer Chad J. Racine, Department of Police of Menominee, Mich.

"To the family of John Mattek jr. I am sorry about your lose.. Johnny was in my plattoon. I wasnt close to Johnny but i felt close. He always had a way a putting things. He was the wildest, but yet hardest guy i ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Johnny will never be forgoten."
lcpl Evan Garlick of KV Iraq

"To the Mattek Family, I offer to you my deepest condolences. What a fine young Marine and family man you raised. Your John is a true American Hero who will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless all of you."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"I almost forgot to leave a quote I found that fits Johnny perfectly:

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference to the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.” - Ronald Reagan"
Chris Kautza of Antigo, WI

"Johnny was one of the coolest guys anyone could ask to know. He was fun-loving, caring, and down to earth. I thank God that I had the opportunity to know Johnny and experience his attitude of the world. I will strive to enjoy life as much as Johnny did. Thank you to his family for raising such an extraordinary young man who inspires us all to be the best we can be, no matter what. Thank you, Johnny, for your serving our country with pride, dignity, and honor. So here's to Johnny, thank you for living your life to its fullest and reminding us all how to have a good time.
God Bless all of the Matteks"
Chris Kautza of Antigo, WI


I miss you everyday. I will cherish the memories we made the months before you left. We had a lot of fun times in NC:
Rum Runners and Hell's Kitchen - I'm sure the bartenders will be asking me about you soon!
The sound of your car pulling up right through the yard to claim your parking spot next to the porch.
When you apologized to the neighbors after they left a note on your car to "Please stop revving your engine...it is REALLY annoying. Thanks, the entire neighborhood." It still makes me laugh when I think about it.
The time you scared the crap out of me when you took off to drag race 2 other cars in the middle of Wilmington and they followed us to the restaurant after you beat them.
The skid marks you left in the church and across the street.
The Toblerone and Clearly Canadian.
Sushi nights and the look on your face when you loaded yours up with wasabi.
Finding notes in random places.
I could go on and on, but the important thing is that you will live in my heart and mind forever. It hurts to think that you are not coming home, but I know it was your destiny to fall on the battlefield, you wouldn't have had it any other way. I always admired your courage and your cause and I have the utmost respect for you. You had this way about you...the room would suddenly feel more upbeat and everyone was in a good mood when you got there. You still put a smile on my face and I am so glad I had the pleasure of knowing you, who would have thought things would have turned out the way they did considering how we met....hahaha, you know what I mean ;-)

My deepest sympathies to Johnny's family. You raised a wonderful man that was loved by many. Know that he will live on forever in our hearts.

Johnny - you are truly "That Guy.""
Tamara Lukjanczuk of Wilmington, NC

"I can remember the first time I met Johnny in Steiner Hall at UWSP. How could I forget, he was after all my first college crush. And could you blame me, Johnny with his good looks and charasmatic personality. Everytime he stopped by my room he'd put a smile on my face and make me laugh. Always making fun of how gullible I was. I'll always remember and cherish those times, and he will still put a smile on my face and keep me laughing. I am so proud of Johnny and I have the upmost respect for him and everything he did. I am honored to have had the opportunity to know him. Rest in Peace Johnny. I know I'll see you again someday."
Courtney Grosenick of Germantown, WI

Just want you to know that I will miss you, but I will never forget you. You will be in my heart forever. Thank you for everything you have done. I am very proud to have known you.
Miss you!"
Stephanie Barta Grassl of Rhinelander, WI

"Two weeks ago we lost our dear nephew, Lance Corporal Dustin Birch in Iraq. In the New Testament there are the parables of the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep and the Lost Son (the prodigal). I believe these writings were included to bring comfort to those who have lost someone/something in their lives also. To assure all that everything lost - everyone lost, including your John - will be found once again. In Luke the Savior tells us that He "came to save that which was lost." May these words bring comfort to you - along with the knowledge that all of our prayers - and gratitude for your family's sacrifice are lasting. “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we attain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article
as freedom should not be highly rated.”

by Thomas Paine, published December 19, 1776"
Kirkham's of Salt Lake City, Utah

"Johnny Mattek had an enthusiasm and dedication in life that most only dream of. Although many of us shed our fair share of tears through this tragic loss, we also feel a sense of relief to know that in fighting for our country, John was doing something that his heart truly believed in.
I probably speak for our AHS class of 1999 when I say that I have never known John to give anything less than his best effort at everything he did. This includes his very best effort to give a report in history class on the steam engine of the underground railroad (that didn't exist!), having phys. ed. class with Johnny and every game from pickle ball to badminton seeming like the world series, and observing him in the weight room pushing himself to lift more than any other person in there.
John, Marsha, Katie, and Jill, you are an amazing family and please know that Johnny's stories and his passion for life will never be forgotten."
Jill Boyle of Milwaukee, WI

"To the Matteks,
I am so proud to have met your family, even though it was under the worst possible conditions. Stay strong and remember that your son's memory keeps us motivated!

Semper Fi!
Capt Licari and the Marines of Bethesda"
Capt Tony Licari of Bethesda MD

"I would like to thank EVERYONE who has supported our family during the lose of my brother, Lance Corporal John Mattek, Jr. He touched all of our hearts and made us a better person than we were before.

I can not stress enough how much all of your messages and stories mean to our family.

THANK ALL OF YOU SO MUCH! And keep the stories coming, we love to read them!"
Jill Mattek of Antigo

"A fallen soldier...A risen hero

Johnny, you were the greatest! Watching you on Friday nights when you were in high school, on the football field was too much fun. You were the most energetic on the field and made the biggest hits. When you kicked the ball on the kickoff, you were the first one to make the tackle everytime, and thats not suppose to happen, because you don't see many kickers making the tackle, but you did. You were a great friend to everyone, and did everything at 110%. For this I salute you and honor you, and respect everything that you did, and you did live a life that most never do.

Good men shouldn't go!

Marcus Wiegert of Deerbrook, Wisconsin

"To the Mattek family,
From one Marine family to another, we know the sacrifice you made was a great one. Our hearts and prayers have and will be with you and yours. In your heart you will never let John go and in our memories he will live on."
Bob & Chris Romans (parents of SSGT. Brian Romans) of Muscle Shoals, Al

"To the Family of LCpl. John Mattek:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 6/20/05, 111 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put LCpl. Mattek's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email martypres33@yahoo.com.

We invite you to come to visit Arlington MidWest. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them." Anonymous"
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"To the Mattek Family: Johnny and his family have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. For this, it is not enough to simply thank Johnny-- we will not forget.

His spirit is marching on in the Kingdom of God and we pray for his guidance and the guidance of our Lord for us, our military, our country's leaders, and our enimies.

I will keep the Mattek family in my thoughts and prayers. May you have comfort in knowing how well loved your son and brother was and is for his leadership and bravery will on this earth."
Cindy of Antigo, WI



To your folks who i know are proud and the rest of the family i'm deeply hurt by your lose. I know you will be strong just as your son, nephew, and friend was.
Mattek i will never forget first meeting you through Casey. You were a great friend and a great advirsary in sports. I'll never forget "The Bell Game" our senior year, 4 overtimes. Seeing you and Casey after the game and then us talking and giving each other a hug just cause we had so much respect and love for each other. I'll never forget the smiles we put on each others faces at the "HODAG". I'll never forget snowmobiling with the Antigo boys up in Michigan for a week. You were a great man, friend, athlete, and i'm sure you were an even better soldier. I wouldn't want anyone other than you defending this country. The lose hurts, to so many people. I can't say how many smiles you put on my face every time we saw each other. I will see you again my friend."
Nate Hall of Rhinelander, WI

"You paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and became a true hero. My thoughts and prayers are with the Mattek family."
Stephanie Magyera Semanko of Minneapolis, MN

"Johnny was always the little rascal that got into trouble when we were young. As the years passed, he grew into the ladies man who strut across the balcony of the high school gymnasium. When we went to college at Stevens Point, he became the fast driving, fearless football player who gave it his all every time he stepped foot onto the field. When Johnny joined The Marines, he became a courageous man fighting for our country. On Monday September 13th, 2005 Johnny became a hero. I will miss his humor and positive outlook on life. Thank you Johnny, you are truly a hero and will never be forgotten."
Jackie Guenthner of Wausau, WI

"To the family and friends of Lance Corporal John J. Mattek, Jr.,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to be involved with them. Love is not a bandage to cover wounds. You always knew how to cover the wounds. Now...they remain open..."
Abby Kulick of St. Paul, Minnesota

"Remember that the ones we love are never truly gone, as long as we keep them alive in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this painful time.
I will forever be grateful for the sacrifices of John and all the men and women risking their lives for freedom. We all owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude."
Danielle Yarie of Milwaukee

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten. You are my hero!"
Andrew Bauknecht of Sheridan, Wyoming

"My prayers of comfort and support go to the family of John Mattek. John, thank you for your sacracfice for my freedom. To you I owe my life and that of my family. Your are home now John, in the loving arms of our father. May your family find peace with that. There is no war in Heaven."
Candy of Poynette, WI

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"To The Mattek Family,
Our Family, Our City, Our Country grieves with you. We are so saddened by your loss. Your Soldier is OUR HERO! We will never forget him or the others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You and your Brave Marine..Semper Fi!!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

"Johnny "automattek" Mattek Jr.

From all of us...

From the guys at the Final Score who you helped smile on Wednesday nights...
From the guys and gals who danced with you in South Padre, TX...
From your teammates and coaches who who need more players like you...
From your soldier buddies who i'm sure would have followed you anywhere...
From all your friends from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point...
From every free American and free citizen on Earth...
From evry person fortunate to have spent even a little time with you over the years...
You will be so greatly missed. We will laugh and smile in your honor the way you would for one of us. We will tell Johnny "automattek" stories until the sun comes up. We will take great pride in the life you chose for the better of all of us. We all send our prayers to your familly.

Thank You John J. Mattek, Jr.

Thank You So Much"
Cody Macartney of Madison, WI USA

"For john J. Mattek Jr.
Each time I see a waving flag, my eyes see so much more, The ones who died to save us from an evil at our door. The Army and the Navy, the Air Force and Marines, Have paid the price so I am free to live and see my dreams. The Army Reserve and Coast Guard, always at the country's call, To serve, protect and help us as they daily give their all. And though this country still is young; we're strong and we have power, Because of those who sacrifice, who'll go at any hour. I call you friend, my soldier, for someone who'd give their life, Is more than just a friend to me, for you were there to fight. And fight you have for freedom and the rights we hold so dear, You fought so we can live in peace and not live life in fear. I know there's nothing I can do that can and will repay, The debt of gratitude I owe when I woke up today. For when I leave my home today, I know that I can be, And speak and go where I may want, and that's because I'm free. This country is so blessed to have the soldier brave and true, So I salute you now my friend; my hat is off to you. Because of you I have a choice of where I go to work, Or where I live or go to school or where I go to church. I have the right to speak my mind and freedom of the press, The right to have a weapon or to start a street protest. But rights and freedoms would not be at our foundation's core, If you'd not fought the battles and the long and bloody wars. For those who don't believe in war or going out to fight, Are those who cannot understand the reasons we have rights. And those who think that war's a crime and want to live in peace, Are blinded by the devil's lies, for war has made us free. We're free today because of you; you've suffered, bled and died, Not one has ever died in vain for God is on our side. To thank you seems so incomplete for words cannot contain,The gratitude that's in my heart for wounded limbs and pain. The families that you leave at home, the friends you leave behind, Are proud of you and thankful for the sacrifice of time. No matter where you go or fight, where you may live or serve, Please know that there are those at home who mean these grateful words. Because of you this country lives in freedom, peace and wealth, And I don't take for granted every battle war has dealt. Though grateful words are not enough and they can never be, I'll say what's truly on my heart - because of you, I'm free."
J. Harrod (Veteran) of California

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, John will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you John Mattek, Jr., you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. John Mattek, Jr.:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless John for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Lance Cpl. John Mattek, Jr.:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of John, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on