"The reason why I started telling people now is, well, ... I am really humble about it because, its not easy, you know. I have been here for six years already and one of the hardest things is that I really don't want to say goodbye," Martinez explained.
Martinez has traveled to places such as Norway and Japan with the Marines but this will be his first deployment. It is because of the offer to travel and see the world that Martinez first became interested in the Marines. "I just really wanted a change in my life," Martinez commented.
As a Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps, he will be in charge of his own platoon in Iraq and part of the training course is to help him prepare for Iraq as well as get his platoon, who he will meet for the first time next week. "I could have a guy, or a female troop right out of high school and I need them to be in the right mind-set." Marines need to be able to follow orders and understand how to carry them out efficiently in a war zone so these two months of preparation are a good lead-up.
Through his time in the Marines, Martinez has sustained some injuries, tearing his ACL ligament in his knee three times. This put him in inactive reserves for three and a half years. "When it came time for my re-enlistment just last year they asked me if I wanted to stay in and I told them yes. One of my obligations was to run three miles and I hadn't run three miles since I was twenty-one." Martinez completed the run with a group of young Marines and aside from winning the respect of those he ran with, he was also able to re-enlist.
This Friday will be his last official day at George Mason for this year and then he will be leaving for Camp Lejeune for two months prep-training before his deployment in August for a six month tour. He expects to be returning around February or March of next year to continue working at George Mason High School. "Friday is supposed to be my last day, but like I said I still don't know, I am still waiting on the orders."
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