Chula Vista dedicates streets to fallen veterans

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- The City of Chula Vista honored seven fallen veterans during a street sign dedication ceremony Friday.

About 200 people attended the ceremony, including city leaders, military members, vets and the families of those who served and gave their lives during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I'm sure my son is here, and I'm sure from heaven he is looking at this and he's very proud and very happy to see this. His sacrifice is not forgotten," said Martha Bachar, the mother of Cpl. Salem Bachar, a Marine killed in Iraq in 2006.

The streets are in the Montecito Village development in Otay Ranch.

Chula Vista Councilmember and Navy veteran John McCann said this has been in the works for a couple of years.

“The criteria was to make sure everybody was from Chula Vista -- either lived here or graduated from high school here," said McCann.

During the ceremony, the veterans' families were given commemorative street signs.

"Look at this! We have a street name. My dad sacrificed just for us, and now I'm just so proud of him. I will never stop being proud of him," said 11-year-old Landon Martinez, the son of Sgt. Michael Martinez, a soldier killed by an improvised explosive device during his second tour in Iraq in 2007.

The seven streets joined over 85 roadways in Chula Vista named to honor the South Bay city's veterans.

The roads were named for:

  • Salem Bachar, a U.S. Marine corporal who died at age 20 in a 2006 battle in Fallujah, Iraq;
  • Michael Idanan, 21, a U.S. Army specialist killed in 2005 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee south of Mosul, Iraq;
  • Kristofferson Lorenzo, a 33-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant who died in 2011 when a device exploded in Kunar province, Afghanistan;
  • Michael Martinez, 24, a U.S. Army sergeant killed in combat in 2007 in Baghdad;
  • Joshua Mattero, a 29-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant who died in 2007 when a device he was trying to defuse exploded northeast of Baghdad;
  •  Curtis Spivey, 25, a U.S. Army specialist who died in 2007 of wounds suffered in an explosion in Baghdad the previous year;
  • and Charles Wyckoff Jr., 28, a sergeant with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division killed by gunfire while on patrol in Afghanistan.