FORT BENNING, Ga. - Staff Sgt. James C. Matteson, who was killed in action during the Battle for Fallujah on Nov. 11, 2004, has received the posthumous honor of having barracks in Fort Benning named in his honor.
Matteson was born in Jamestown in 1980 and attended Southwestern Central School, where he participated in wrestling and football.
After graduating, he enlisted in the Army in 1998 and subsequently served in Bosnia, Egypt, Kosovo and Germany before being deployed to Iraq.
As a 19D Scout, he participated in the vanguard of the drive to capture Fallujah.
On Nov. 11, 2004, under the cover of darkness, three of Staff Sgt. Matteson's fellow scouts attacked an insurgent-held structure at a site called Objective Lion. Upon entering the building, all three scouts were hit by gunfire.
Staff Sgt. Matteson immediately threw a smoke grenade to provide concealment as he directed the evacuation of the scouts for medical treatment. He then provided suppressive fire allowing his men to launch a counterattack on the building.
The attack collapsed the structure, killing all the insurgents inside.
Staff Sgt. Matteson was killed the following morning in an ambush while leading his task force convoy. During the ambush, he dismounted his vehicle and provided direct suppressive fire against the enemy. This enabled his vehicles freedom of maneuver taking up advantageous firing positions.
For his heroic actions, he was awarded the Silver Star.
Staff Sgt. Matteson was one of six late veterans who received the honor of having military buildings named in their honor at Fort Benning.
"These soldiers knew what was right," said Lt. Col. Dawson Plummer. "Selfless service - giving their lives for other soldiers during combat. They made the ultimate sacrifice, and the least we can do is to honor them by memorializing them here with these buildings."
"Every one of these guys were heroes in terms of their actions before they were taken way to early from this world," said Maj. Brian Ducote.
Staff Sgt. Matteson is buried in Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery where he is with his with his fellow brothers in arms from Chautauqua County.