Mar. 23, 2003 — Nasiriyah, Iraq
Army Chief Warrant Officer Mata was assigned to 507th Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas. Mata was killed in an ambush near Nasiriyah, Iraq. He was one of eight soldiers found dead during the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was being held as a prisoner of war. Johnny grew up in the small town of Pecos, Texas and graduated from Pecos High School in 1986. While in high school, he played football and joined the Army after graduation. He knew everything about the vehicles he worked on, from electrical systems to engine mechanics. Everyone wanted to be around him because he was the most knowledgeable in his area of expertise. Whatever Johnny was required to do, he was willing to do – even giving his life for his country. He leaves behind his wife, Nancili, a teenage son and a young daughter.