Decorated Key West Army soldier killed in training accident in Texas

Key West, a proud military town, lost one of its own when decorated U.S. Army Sgt. Roger Matamoros Chavarria, 27, died on Aug. 28 during a training exercise at Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas.

The Key West High School graduate had been stationed there since January 2019, according to the Army Times. He joined the Army in November 2012.

The Army Times reports that Chavarria was killed in a “military vehicle collision,” although details of the accident or training exercise remain under investigation and were unavailable.

Matamoros Chavarria was assigned to the 123rd Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, as a motor transport operator.

“The Iron Support Battalion is incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Sgt. Matamoros Chavarria and we grieve with his family and friends during this incredibly difficult time,” Lt. Col. Gilberto Escobedo, the battalion commander, said in a prepared statement for Army Times.

Matamoros Chavarria’s awards during his years of service include the Combat Action Badge, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal and the Air Assault Badge.

Matamoros Chavarria’s girlfriend, Yani Morales, is still living in Key West, where the soldier had planned to return for a visit “when this corona clears up,” Chavarria told a friend on Facebook in the spring.

Morales posted the following tribute on Facebook on Sept. 2: 

“…We had such big plans for our life. We were planning for our wedding. We wanted our little family one day above anything else. … I know you were humble, but I want the world to know what an AMAZING soldier you were. You took such pride in your work. You truly loved being a soldier. I saw how much joy it brought you and how much you loved your job. You made the ultimate sacrifice and gave your life for this country. This is hard for me. But you told me once before, ‘If something ever happens to me, I just want you to be proud.’ Just know, baby, I am so proud of all you accomplished. You will forever be the love of my life. I will miss you every single day. I am thankful for every moment I ever shared with you. You made me the happiest girl in the world. You showed me how much you loved me all the time. I wish I could just talk to you and kiss you and hold you again. Our love is forever.”

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