GLENDALE, AZ, US
SFC, CO C, 3RD BN, 3RD SPECIAL FORCES GROUP, FORT BRAGG, NC
05/29/2011, WARDAK PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
We first met Martin 14 years ago. My daughter Elisa was having a big 15th birthday celebration and Martin was going to be her cousin’s dance partner. This is where this beautiful story begins. Being from a very traditional upbringing, Elisa knew that if and when she wanted to have a boyfriend, he would have to come and talk to me. Martin did this. He did this with respect, and I must say, shaking with nerves. I still can hear his voice trembling when he asked if he could “court” Elisa. They were high school sweethearts and only had eyes for each other. After high school, Martin left for the Army and Elisa went off to college. He came home from Iraq four years ago and then came to ask for Elisa’s hand in marriage. Again, he did it right. He asked for Elisa’s hand in marriage by speaking to my husband, our son and myself. After we gave him our approval, he then asked her. We asked him to wait until she graduated from college, and he promised he would.
He left to attend school, he wanted to become a Green Beret and he did. After Elisa graduated with a degree in education, they married. He was stationed in Fort Bragg, so Elisa left. Her place was with him. They both said they suffered a great deal without family, but it made them even closer and their marriage stronger, they only had each other.
A year after their marriage, they had a son; Martin R Apolinar Jr. This past February, our youngest daughter got married. Martin was in training due to the fact that he was leaving for Afghanistan, an 11 month tour, but he got permission and came home for the wedding. It was during this visit that he told us that he was coming home next year for good. He had achieved more in his life than he had ever hoped for. He had served his country with honor and had been very blessed; he was married to the girl he loved since he was a boy, had a son, and had another baby on the way…We we all sooo happy. Martin left for Afghanistan, and the day he left, he made sure he called me and my husband to say “good-bye and I love you”.
Early Monday, May 30th around 7:30am, we got a call from Martin’s dad informing us that he had been killed in action. The Army had notified them late the previous evening, but could not get a hold of Elisa. You see, Elisa was visiting her brother who lives in Philadelphia. I got a hold of him, and he had to tell Elisa.
You see, Martin was the type of man, every mother wants their daughter to marry. A man who knows that the words honor and love are much more than just words. They are a means of how you must live your life. How you must show this to your parents, brothers, family and country. My husband called him “the Good Man” and this is how everyone knew him.
I can write a book on how great a soldier he was. How he was respected by those around him. All the medals he earned. How he died a Hero. You can google his name, and soo many articles appear, but to us, above all of this, he was and continues to be “Our Good Man”.