The son of of a Santa Clara County judge and a state appellate court justice was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Marine Capt. Matt Manoukian was the son of Judge Socrates "Pete" Manoukian and Associate Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, confirmed a spokesman for th Santa Clara County Superior Court .
According to a Marine website, Matt Manoukian was part of the 1st Marines Special Operations Battalion. In January, he was awarded a "Navy and Marine Corps Commendation with Combat Valor."
"The family was told last evening" Richard J. Loftus, Jr, presiding judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, wrote in an email to court employees, first reported by the Mercury News. "I spoke with Pete and expressed our profound sorrow."
The Manoukian family is extremely well-known in the Bay Area, and is known for their activism. In 2007, the Catholic Voice of Oakland wrote a piece on how a group of kindergarteners at St. Vincent's Day Home in Oakland adopted a group of Marines in Iraq, noting that Matt Manoukian, a second lieutenant at the time, was their main contact. The article noted his parents' were key supporters of the school.
Matt Manoukian also was dubbed an all-star caliber football player when he was a defensive lineman at St. Francis High School. There was a Mercury News article in 2001 about his selflessness when he gave up his spot to somoene else when he had strep throat so that his team could have a better chance at winning the 27th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game.
Bamattre-Manoukian has been a judge with the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, since 1989.
Born in Lebanon, Pete Manoukian is a well-regarded judge who became a U.S. citizen in 1963 and a Los Altos High graduate who has been a judge in Santa Clara County since 1993. He was the judge in 2008 who ruled that the San Francisco Zoo was allowed to look at the cell phones of two San Jose brothers involved in a deadly tiger attack on Christmas Day. On the judge's Facebook page, there is an image of him with his arm around a young man wearing a dark blue polo shirt. A post he made to a friend on May 27 regarding the image was: "Yes I am proud of him. May he come home safe."
Matt Manoukian had two brothers, Michael and Martin.