Friday, March 25, 2011

Francisco Abraham Martinez Flores, Marines, Private First Class -- Rest In Peace

Francisco Abraham Martinez Flores, 21

Marines, Private 1st Class
Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: March 25, 2003
Nasiriya, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Duarte
Foreign Country of Birth: Mexico
Burial: Live Oak Memorial Park, Monrovia

With her son's casket before her and a huge American flag hanging high above the altar, Martha Martinez stood strong Saturday in front of a packed church crowd and told mourners what overwhelmed her heart:

"I am a mother with a broken heart," she said. "I had so much love for my son and I feel so sad that I have lost him.... But I will always be proud of him."
She said she could not give him a final embrace because she was in Mexico attending her father's funeral the day he left Twentynine Palms.

"He was my firstborn son and the pride of this family," she said as many in the pews began to weep. "I will always remember him as a young man with so much spirit."

Martinez Flores came with his family from the Mexican state of Jalisco at age 3 and was two weeks away from becoming a U.S. citizen when he died, one of thousands of green card soldiers who volunteer for military service. His relatives proudly said Saturday that he had been posthumously awarded citizenship.
Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Private First Class Francisco Abraham Martinez Flores here, find more at Military Times, Fallen Heroes and visit Private Flores' Guest Book.
The family of Marine PFC Francisco Martinez Flores embrace as they greave for the 21-year-old during his funeral Mass Saturday, April, 12, 2003 in Monrovia, Calif. His mother, Martha Martinez Flores embraces her husband Samuel, left and her youngest son, Sammy. The Marine was killed when his tank tumbled from a collapsing bridge in Iraq was remembered Saturday as a man who loved two countries the United States and Mexico and died to liberate a third. Hundreds of mourners packed Immaculate Conception Church and others overflowed outside during the funeral Mass for Martinez Flores, 21, who died just two weeks before he was to become a U.S. citizen.(AP Photo/Virgina Lee Hunter)

You will find the above photograph of Marine Private Flores' family here.

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