Every year, Ron and Carol Martinez organize a variety of events to remember their son, Sgt. Glen E. Martinez, including the Sgt. Glen E. Martinez Memorial Scholarship, 5K/Run Walk, and Veteran’s Golf Tournament. It was not hosted this year owing to medical problems in the Martinez family, but scholarships were nonetheless granted to two deserving graduating seniors.
Before graduating from Monte Vista High School, Anastasia Sanchez and Addan Heredia each got $1,000 scholarships. Both seniors were recognized for their achievements in academics, athletics, and community service. Both intend to pursue higher study and have received scholarships to assist them in their endeavor.
Sanchez will attend Adams State University. Heredia intends to enroll at Trinidad State Junior College before transferring to the University of Northern Colorado.
The scholarships are awarded in memory of Sgt. Martinez, a 31-year-old fallen hero from Monte Vista who died on May 2, 2008, as a result of a roadside bomb detonation during Operation Iraqi Freedom.Martinez has been dead for 15 years, yet his memory lives on in the neighborhood and among those who knew him.
Martinez played quarterback for the Monte Vista Pirates in high school. He was also an honor student, wrestler, and baseball player. Martinez’s father, Ron, recalled informing Glen that he wasn’t required to join the Marine Corps, but Glen desired to do so.
“He was a good kid,” Ron Martinez said. “He was always nice to everyone, very respectful. He cared about everyone. I told him he didn’t have to join the Marines he made the decision to go, he knew what he wanted to do. We are proud of him. His memory lives on. We always hear from so many people, even younger people, how he has made an impact on their lives.”
The Martinezes have kept their son’s room exactly as he left it, and they have added pictures, his sergeant uniform, and memories of him that they will remember forever. They have a case in their living room that has artifacts that belonged to him, including the chain he was wearing the day he died. When Ron Martinez holds that necklace, he feels a heaviness and remembers his son and all he gave for his country.
The Martinezes are proud to give the Glen E. Martinez Memorial Scholarships every year. Carol Martinez said that it is a way to give back to the community that Glen loved and to keep his memory alive.
“He just loved everyone, always had a big smile for everyone. We are proud of all he did,” Carol Martinez said.