In memory of Glen Martinez 1976-2008

Glen Martinez, 31

MONTE VISTA — Glen Martinez, 31, died in Iraq fighting for his country on May 2, 2008. He was born to Ron and Carol Martinez on Oct. 28, 1976 in Alamosa, Colo. He married Melissa Sue Landis on a California beach in February 2006. They renewed their vows in a formal ceremony Dec. 28, 2007 in Golden, Colo.

Growing up Glen was an athlete. He had been wrestling since he was four and half, played football since he was six years old and baseball since he was seven years old. He was the quarterback of the Monte Vista High School football team, taking the team to state. He competed three times on the school’s state wrestling team.

As an adult he joined the Marine Corps and met his wife Melissa Martinez who is also in the Marine Corps. Glen received several medals while he was in the Marines; Purple Heart Medal, Navy Achievement Level, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Common Nation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one Bronze Star.

He is survived by his wife Melissa Martinez; his parents Ron and Carol Martinez; one sister Lori (Brett) Wingert of Parker, Colo.; one niece Lexi Wingert and one nephew Spencer Wingert; grandparents Ike and Viola Martinez, Willard and Norma Martin both of Monte Vista.

A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Mon., May 12, 2008 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Monte Vista.

The Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tue., May 13, 2008 at Monte Vista High School with burial to follow at Colorado State Veteran’s Cemetery.

A full Honor Guard of the Marine Corps will be present throughout the ceremony.

In lieu of flowers send donations to Glen Martinez Memorial Scholarship Fund, San Luis Valley Federal, 330 Solar Ave, P.O. Box 248, Monte Vista, CO 81144.

Arrangements were made with Weylen’s Funeral Home of San Pablo, Colo.

Monte Vista native dies in Iraq

Posted: Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

BY: Ruth Heide

US Marine Sgt. Glen Martinez died in combat in Iraq Friday.

Martinez ‘always had a smile’

MONTE VISTA — Glen Martinez’ sister Lori described her brother as a ray of sunshine in a room.

That light went out on Friday.

Sergeant Glen Martinez, 31, a U.S. Marine on his second tour in Iraq, was one of four military personnel killed by a roadside bomb on Friday, May 2, at 11:10 p.m. Iraqi time, 10 hours earlier in his hometown of Monte Vista.

Glen will be buried with full military honors at Homelake next Tuesday.

“He touched everybody that he came in contact with in one way or the other,” Lori said. “He always had a smile on his face.” She said everyone she has talked with since she received the news of her brother’s death mentioned the same memory of him - Glen with a “cheesy” smile on his face. “You couldn’t do anything but smile back at him,” she said. “He was always happy, would always cheer people up, never brought anybody down.”

Because Glen touched so many people, his funeral service will be held in the Monte Vista High School gymnasium, and the Monte Vista Fire Department will transport Glen by fire truck from the playing field where he spent many hours as a teen-ager to the Colorado State Veterans Center cemetery.

Glen’s father Ron said he always looked up to his son. “He never quit.”

“He made us very proud in everything he did,” added Carol, Glen’s mother. She treasures the last communication from Glen and his wife Melissa, also a sergeant in the U.S. Marines, a Mother’s Day card that arrived on Friday, the day she learned her son had died.

Ron and Carol Martinez welcomed Glen into their family on Oct. 28, 1976. From that time on, Glen lived his life with no holds barred. Whether playing Roy Rogers as a youngster on horseback or playing baseball for Ottawa University as a young man, Glen put his whole heart and strength into everything.

“He was in everything,” Carol said. “And he excelled in everything,” Ron added.

Ron said his son was a very competitive person but also very humble about his accomplishments, and they were many. His bedroom is filled with trophies, plaques and honors, just a fraction of the awards he earned over the years.

Growing up in Monte Vista, Glen participated in nearly every sport including baseball, football and wrestling. He also played in band and was an excellent student.

Before Glen graduated from Monte Vista High School he had scholarships in football, wrestling and baseball but chose to play baseball for Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, where he also earned a degree in mathematics and was president of the math club.

Glen subsequently earned a degree in surveying from Westwood College and worked on a master’s degree in hydro engineering at CU.

Glen would study early in the morning with Beethoven and Bach in the background.

“We grew up listening to music with mom and dad when we went wood cutting,” Lori said. Before his voice changed, Glen could sing the high parts to “Eagles” songs, Lori recalled. “Those were good times. It was very important for us to bond as a family. That’s why we were so close.”

Ron said Glen was living in Boulder when he told his father he wanted to join the Marines. “He said ‘I am tired of people cutting down my country. I want to do something positive. I think this is the best way to do it.’”

Glen continued a military heritage that goes back to both of his grandfathers, Isaac Martinez and Willard Martin, who served during World War II, and his father Ron who served in the Air Force in Germany during the Vietnam War. Both sets of Glen’s grandparents, Isaac and Viola Martinez and Willard and Norma Martin, still live in Monte Vista. Glen’s sister Lori and her family live in Parker.

When Glen could have entered the military as an officer because of his college degrees, he chose to go through basic training like everyone else so those he would lead would know that he understood what they had gone through. He always treated everyone the same whether that person was “important” in others’ eyes or not, Ron said.

During his first tour Glen earned awards for his service with heavy equipment. During his second tour he earned the NCO award. “That just goes to show that my brother never did anything less than 100 percent ever, ever, ever,” Lori said.

Glen joined the Marines in October, 2004, and would have been eligible to get out this October although the Marines were trying to persuade Glen and Melissa to stay in as officers. “They were both such great leaders,” Ron said.

Melissa and Glen were married on Feb. 4, 2006, and renewed their vows in a more formal ceremony on Dec. 28, 2007.

Lori said her children Spencer and Lexi thought the world of their Uncle Glen.

Lexi had a basketball game on Saturday and when Lori told her that she did not have to play if she did not feel up to it, Lexi thought about it quite awhile and said, “I want to play, and I want to play it for my Uncle Glen.”

Lori said, “She had the game of her life.”

It is the way Glen would have played.

Glen Martinez was an “athlete’s athlete”

By LLOYD ENGEN

MONTE VISTA - Hard work was the hallmark of Glen Martinez’ high school days in the athletic arena.

He inspired others with his indomitable spirit and work ethic, becoming a team leader who led his teammates to some of Monte Vista High School’s best moments in sports.

During the fall season of his senior year, Glen was quarterback and linebacker on the Pirates’ football team coached by Jim McAuliffe that reached the state semifinals, the first Pirate team to do so in 20 years. He threw two touchdown passes in the semifinal game with Brush before the Beetdiggers scored an incredible two touchdowns in the final minute of play to pull out a 25-22 win.

On the wrestling mat, Glen became the second Monte Vista wrestler in school history to win 100 matches during his career, joining Brad Wiedeman. Glen wrapped up his mat career with a remarkable record of 111-27, taking second in the state tournament as a sophomore at 130 lbs., third as a junior at 135 lbs., and third as a senior at 142 lbs., coached by Craig Kelso.

In his junior year, Glen was undefeated at 36-0 before losing a close match to the eventual state champion in the semifinals, and took third place to finish at 37-1. He also battled his way to third as a senior after losing a semifinal match, determined to add more points to his team’s total - because above all, Glen was a team player, never seeking individual glory.

An outstanding Pirate baseball player for coach Brad Swarz, Glen then decided that baseball was the sport he would pursue following high school, and that took him to Ottawa University on a baseball scholarship so he could continue to hone his skills while earning his college degree.

He left a legacy at Monte Vista High School for other to follow and try to emulate - a legacy of hard work, passion for the game, and compassion for his peers.

Glen Martinez, in short, was a perfect example of what it means to be an “athlete’s athlete,” setting the stage for the success that has followed the Pirate teams in the years since his graduation.

 

 

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