Pendleton Sniper Awarded Navy Cross

Posthumous award given to Sgt. Matthew T. Abbate's family


A Camp Pendleton Marine who died in Afghanistan will be posthumously awarded the Navy's second-highest award in San Diego.

Sgt. Matthew T. Abbate was a scout sniper who led his section of Marines through an insurgent ambush in the Sangin Province in October 2010. The ambush began as the patrol came under fire in a minefield north of the province.

Two Marines and one corpsman were injured as the patrol began to take fire and move into cover.

Abbate continued to lead the patrol during the ambush, guiding them to safety and administering life-saving aid to the wounded, coordinated the medical evacuation, secured the area and facilitated a safe evacuation, according to a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps.

Two months later, Abbate was killed in action. He was 26 years old and is survived by his son and other family members in the Fresno area.

Abbate's family will receive the award August 10 on the Marine Corps Base in Camp Pendleton at 10 a.m.

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