Valerie Binion talks about her older brother Sergeant Matthew Abbate. Binon says, “He was the kind of guy who would do something terrible, so you wouldn’t have to do it.”
The 26-year old was in his fourth year as a Marine and it was his third tour of duty in the Middle East. Earlier in the deployment, he had a brush with death when he stumbled upon a roadside bomb. Binion says, “It didn’t explode all the way. He got a leg slice. It wasn’t too serious. He got fixed up and was back on the field the next day.”
Family friend Lisa Boyles says it was just like Matthew not to take a break. “He loved being a Marine. He was good at it. Confident about it.”
Matthew’s death was fresh in the minds of some fans at a Friday night Clovis and Clovis West football game played at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium right after he was killed.
Irene Ramirez thinks she’s figured out why so many servicemen from Clovis are killed in the line of duty. “To me it says they’ve stood up for their country. I’m proud that they chose to serve. I’m sad for the families though.”
Binion thinks of what a great person the community and the world for that matter has lost. “He was a leader, one of those silent leaders that don’t make you want to follow them, but you always will.