Coney Island son welcomed as a hero

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn patriots paid tribute to one of their own ‘president’s men’ — who felt “good to be home” — during a tribute in Coney Island, presented by Urban Neighborhood Services (UNS).

Returning marine and 30-year area resident Cpl. John A. Matus, an infantryman with the ‘The Fighting 69th,’ was delivered the tall salute at the Coney Island branch library, 1901 Mermaid Avenue, where the grassroots group’s Veterans Outreach Project hailed the hero serviceman, who spent nine months in Afghanistan training local police in the Ghanzi Province.

“It’s good to be home; the show of support from the community and elected officials has made it all worth it,” said Cpl. Mattus, who served in Afghanistan in the Police Mentor Team of Taskforce Phoenix VII’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Joined by his proud parents, Anthony and Linda, the soldier — a seven-year military veteran, who served three years in active duty and four in the National Guard — was feted with letters by students from PS/IS 150, 364 Sackman Street, and awards from his local legislators; among them, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, Councilman Domenic Recchia and State Senator Diane Savino.

“It is a pleasure for UNS to recognize a local hero in our community, who just risked his life in Afghanistan for this country,” said Mathylde Frontus, founder and executive director of the multi-service non-profit, 1718 Mermaid Avenue, adding, “As we begin this new year, the un-met needs of veterans around the country remain a pressing social issue.”

For more information about UNS’s programs, including Financial Literacy, Summer Youth Leadership and Coney Island College Tour Program, call 347-374-2455, or visit

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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