Semper Fidelis. Salute.
The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports:
CORPUS CHRISTI — A 21-year-old Marine from Mathis died Friday while in combat in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Saturday.Remember 9-11-01. The battle continues. God bless America. God bless Jose L. Maldonaldo. R.I.P.
Lance Cpl. Jose L. Maldonado was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was in the Helmand province of Afghanistan when he was killed, military officials said.
While going to school in Mathis Independent School District, Maldonado played baseball, football and the tuba, Superintendent Maria Rodriguez-Casas said. Maldonado attended elementary and high schools in Mathis, she said. He went into the military soon after high school graduation as do many young adults in the city of about 5,200 people.
“His first passion was to go serve the country,” she said.
Maldonado was raised by his aunt and uncle, George and Alicia Williams, Mathis Mayor Ciriaco “Ciri” Villarreal said.
“They’re a good family,” he said. “Joe wanted to do better for himself and serve his country, which is why he joined the military. It’s especially hard in a small town for our young people, we don’t have jobs to offer them.
“This hits hard in our community, and our hearts go out to his family,” the mayor said. “We’re saddened deeply.”