7 streets in Chula Vista named in honor of fallen military service members

Posted at 6:30 AM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 22:22:37-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV/CNS) - Seven new streets in Chula Vista have been named for local military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I know the pain in your heart can never go away, but at least you can rest assured that your children, your fathers, will never be forgotten in the city of Chula Vista," said Mayor Mary Salas to family members at the ceremony.

The project was championed by Councilman John McCann, an Iraq War veteran, and Navy Reservist. Through a partnership between the city and developer Baldwin & Sons, streets in the Village 2 Neighborhood in Otay Ranch were dedicated to the fallen service members.

While each family is brokenhearted, they're also bursting with pride.

"He said he was going to fight for our freedom, for that of my children and my family, he was very honored to be serving our country," said Alina Perez, sister of Army Sgt. Charles Wyckoff.

It was nearly 10 years ago when Perez lost her brother and best friend. He was just 28 years old and died saving his platoon.

"That's just the kind of guy he was, no fear, no fear," said Perez. "It's bittersweet. I'm proud to be his sister, I'm sad as a human to not have my brother."

She and her mother Sylvia Wyckoff said the dedication ceremony was emotional.

"It's hard," said Sylvia. "I see the American flag and it always brings a tear to my eye, just knowing my son died for our country. He's a very brave man."

They look forward to the day when they can visit his street.

"I'm hoping the people who live on that street will go and find his story and see what an honor it is to live on Wyckoff Street," said Perez.

The signs will go up in a new neighborhood on the east side of the city.

Those being honored:

-- Salem Bachar, a U.S. Marine corporal who died at the age of 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

-- Charles Wyckoff Jr., 28, a sergeant with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division who was killed by gunfire while on patrol in Afghanistan

The seven streets will join over 85 roadways in Chula Vista named to honor the South Bay city's veterans. In addition to each name, the street signs are red, white and blue with a flag and notation on each individual.