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Army Sgt. Timothy P. Martin

Died February 8, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

27, of Pixley, Calif.; assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Feb. 8 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed were Spc. Michael T. Manibog, Staff Sgt. Jerald A. Whisenhunt and Sgt. Gary D. Willett.

Four Hawaii-based soldiers killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — The Army says four soldiers in the Stryker brigade based at Schofield Barracks died in Iraq after a roadside bomb hit their vehicle.

The soldiers died in the town of Taji on Feb. 8.

Two of the soldiers were from California: Spc. Michael T. Manibog, 31, of Alameda, and Sgt. Timothy P. Martin, 27, of Pixley.

Manibog and Marting both joined the Army three years ago.

Staff Sgt. Jerald A. Whisenhunt, 32, of Orrick, Mo., and Sgt. Gary D. Willett, 34, of Alamogordo, N.M., also died. Whisenhunt joined the Army in 2000 and Willett joined in 1995.

The four were assigned to the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in the 25th Infantry Division.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, issued a statement saying the soldiers were part of “our island ohana,” or family.

“I salute these four brave soldiers for their service and sacrifice in a dangerous place far from home,” Inouye said. “We owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.”

The fatal attack was the second involving Hawaii’s Stryker brigade, which deployed in November and December with 4,000 soldiers and over 300 Stryker vehicles.

The first unit’s first combat fatality occurred Jan. 19 when Spc. Jon Michael Schoolcraft III, 26, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, died from wounds received when his Stryker vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

The death, also in Taji, came four days after the brigade officially took over responsibility for that area of Iraq, which is northwest of Baghdad.

Fallen soldier had long dreamed of serving

The Associated Press

Sgt. Timothy P. Martin told neighbor and childhood friend Samuel Resa of his dream to join the armed forces. They lifted weights together, and they built a huge obstacle course in an old barn and pretended to be in training camp.

“I always looked up to him like a big brother,” said Resa, a veteran of the Marines.

Martin, 27, an intelligence specialist from Pixley, Calif., was killed Feb. 8 in Taji when his vehicle struck an explosive. He was assigned to Schofield Barracks.

“He could have been successful at any profession, but he was drawn to a life of service to others,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Brown. “He chose selfless service toward the cause of freedom over the comforts of an easier life.”

A love of target shooting, which he developed as a teenager shooting cans and cereal boxes on his farm, served Martin well in the military. He also loved speeding through the country roads in his Mustang.

He studied biology at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, where he excelled in genetics and math, and dreamed of joining the FBI.

He is survived by his parents, Anthony and Lucy.

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