22 Mar 2005:
I regretfully will like to inform you that my nephew, Francisco G. Martinez- who had recently (3/6/05) joined your list- was killed in the line of duty in Iraq on March 20th.
In his last email to us, he commented about how happy he was that he followed my suggestion to sign up with Any Soldier, because he had already received so many letters of support and a couple of your great care-packages.
You may take him off your list now, although I'm sure that the rest of his unit would still like to receive mail and packages. (Find another "point of contact" there?).
Thanks for your wonderful efforts!
Soldier from Fort Worth killed in Iraq
08:36 PM CST on Tuesday, March 22, 2005
FORT WORTH -- In e-mails to family and friends last summer before being deployed to Iraq, Army Spc. Francisco Gregorio Martinez seemed conflicted.
"I will serve my self, my family, my friends, and my loved ones. I wont serve my country, nor will I serve it's leaders. I will not serve your comfort, nor will I serve your luxury. I am going to fight for MY life, and MY way of life. Every man on the line, is fighting for what is right... Themselves and their families," he wrote Aug. 4.
The 20-year-old was killed Sunday in Tamin, Iraq, as a result of enemy small arms fire, according to the Department of Defense. Martinez was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, Korea.
He was the 145th Texan to die since fighting in Iraq began in March 2003.
He had dreamed of becoming a graphics designer, said his father Francisco Tomas Martinez, 40, a computer software engineer in Fort Worth.
The soldier's father was in Utah on a business trip when his wife called Sunday night, saying someone from the Army was knocking on the door.
For just a minute, the elder Martinez thought it could be his son making a surprise trip home or one of his son's friends visiting. But deep down, in the pit of his stomach, Martinez knew otherwise.
When he asked if the man was wearing a dress uniform, and his wife answered yes, Martinez told her to open the door and hand the phone to the man. That's when Martinez learned that his son was shot in the hip and died en route to a medical facility.
Now the elder Martinez, who served in the U.S. military from 1981-91, is grieving while trying to come to terms with his own mixed feelings about the war.
"It would be easy for me to take potshots at the government in the rage that at times I swing into because of the loss, but I really am making an effort to send a constructive message," he said. "For my son and so many others, I would like for people to talk about the future cost. Was that the best use of our youth?"
Until shortly before his 17th birthday -- and like other "military brats," his father said with a smile -- Francisco Gregorio Martinez vowed he would never join the Army. But after he and his father discussed how the military could provide him with more discipline and money for college, the teen joined.
His last visit to Texas was during a two-week leave last summer. He brought his girlfriend, whom he planned to marry, his father said.
In some e-mails in June and July, the young soldier said briefings about his unit's upcoming mission made him "kinda nervous" and that he was being trained to be a "killing machine." He said he hoped what he was about to face would not haunt him after he returned home.
Francisco Gregorio Martinez kept in touch with his father frequently through e-mails until he was sent to Iraq in early August, and then the communication was sporadic.
His last e-mail was two months ago, when he joked that his hearing was damaged because he forgot his earplugs while at the shooting range that morning.
"I am alive. I am still kicking ... counting down my days till I get the hell out. Back to work now!" he wrote Jan. 19.
The younger Martinez had been critical of the Bush administration but was a proud soldier who wanted to protect his fellow soldiers and help rebuild Iraq, his father said.
"He was clear in his sense of duty. Never did he express he was unwilling or that what they were doing was wrong," said the elder Martinez. "I think he believed in the mission that he was trying to do, doing good for the Iraqi people."
"Losing a friend" By Gina Cavallaro
Times staff writer
(Original article HERE)
06 Mar 2005
I am signing up on behalf of my FIST team (Fire Support Team). We currently live in the vecinity of Ramadi. We live in buildings, we have 110 power, we have laundry services, and the basic things a soldier needs to get by.
The only things we would like to recieve are things that will remind us of home.
Things like magazines (old ones work great, even TV Guides), Candies, Cigarrettes, Chew, Letters and Newspapers.
These things while simple are things that will put a smile on any soldiers face.
Thank you for your time and donations.
We are all from the south. ;)