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Army Sgt. Francisco Martinez

Died November 4, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

28, of Humacao, Puerto Rico; assigned to B Detachment, 82nd Soldier Support Battalion (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; killed Nov. 4 when an improvised explosive device exploded next to his convoy in Baghdad.

He insisted on going to Iraq when he had the choice, and he even turned down the recent offer of a two-week furlough. Sgt. Francisco Martinez was completely dedicated to being a soldier. "He loved the military life. ... It was his life," said his father, Daniel Martinez. Martinez, 28, was killed Nov. 4 when a roadside bomb hit the truck he was traveling in near Baghdad. He grew up in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and joined the Army 10 years ago. Martinez completed a year of service in South Korea before transferring to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he remained until the military sent him to Iraq this spring. Martinez was expected to complete his tour in January. He planned to bring his girlfriend home to meet his family then, his father said. He is survived by his father and his mother, Luz Jimenez.

— Associated Press

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2002   2001

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