Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane R. Martin

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane R. Martin, 23, of Spring, Texas

LCpl Martin was assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died July 29, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He called from Afghanistan last week and asked his parents to send him some of his old art supplies. He said the stark beauty of the central Asian country had inspired him to draw again.

"The irony is, here you have a kid who was as tough as anything, who was a Reconnaissance Marine, but he could stop for a moment and see the beauty of the people and the land around him, and there's something so poignant about that," said his aunt, Amanda Brock. "You know, he lost his life in that beauty."

The 23-year-old Marine lance corporal from Spring died during combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Thursday. He was assigned to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Marine officials said Martin was driving a light armored vehicle on patrol when a roadside bomb exploded and the vehicle flipped. Martin died of head trauma.

"I know he went there with the idea of helping the Afghani people — I know that in my heart - but also to be a good and loyal and helpful Marine to his own team members," said his uncle, Robert Brock.

Martin was born in Durban, South Africa, and moved to the Houston area when he was 12. He attended Spring's Klein Collins High School, where he was in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.

"He was known at Klein Collins as the one who would stand up for people who were being bullied," said his mother, Debora Wallace. She remembered one of the school administrators pulling her aside during her son's senior year. "He said, 'When Shane graduates from high school, what are we going to do?' He protected so many people at school, the small kids, and the underdogs."

Martin was fiercely protective by nature, but even-tempered and mature beyond his years, said his father, Kevin Wallace.

"He had a demeanor where he would never get angry at another person, no matter what they did to him," Wallace said. "He would just move on and keep it inside."

Martin met his future wife at an architectural graphics class at Klein Collins. The pair became best friends, and she invited him to senior prom because she had an extra ticket. Ten days later, they were officially dating.

"We would finish each other's sentences, literally," Lauren Martin said by telephone from California, where she lived with her husband. "We always knew what each other was thinking, and we had the same values. My grandmother told me true soulmates would complement each other, and we did."

After graduation from Klein Collins in 2005, Martin attended The Art Institute of Houston before deciding to follow his heart to the Marines. His father, grandfather and uncle had all served, and Martin had always been a military history buff.

"Shane only ever watched the History Channel, or the Military Channel," his mother recalled. "When we were in South Africa, it was black-and-white war movies."

She said her son had a knack for remembering birthdays and anniversaries by connecting them to dates of World War II battles. "He really and truly would have liked to be a military history professor once his days of serving were done," she said.

Boot camp and a bride

On Leap Day in February 2008, Martin celebrated his graduation from Marine boot camp. A few months later, he proposed to Lauren when she came to visit at Pendleton.

"It was nothing fancy," Lauren said. "We had no money. We were in a hotel room, watching a Dane Cook DVD, and he said, 'I'll be right back,' and tripped over some clothes." Then he gave her the ring.

"He told me that I was the moment, and that's why he did it right then," Lauren said. "That we were just sitting there together and that being there with me was all that he cared about, that I was the moment, and it couldn't be any better."

Last visit home in April

The couple married on July 4, 2008, in Lauren's backyard in Spring. In December of the same year, Martin deployed to Iraq for his first combat tour.

He earned his citizenship during that deployment. The naturalization ceremony was held at one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces. "He was very, very proud of that," Martin's uncle said.

Before he deployed to Afghanistan in May, Martin visited Houston for two weeks in April to say goodbye to friends and family, including his brother, Kyle, 21, and sister, Diane, 14. They ate Chinese food and went shopping at the Galleria.

Diane said she was in the process of writing her big brother a three-page letter when her family learned of his death. "I never finished it," she said. "It was telling him to be safe and everything, so everybody could sleep. And I never got to send the letter."

marinesissy wrote:
this is Shane's sister. i miss him alot, so much, today when i was being interviewed with my family it was really hard because reality sunk in. after these pictures i just broke down, i cant imagine life without Shane even though im living it. thank you so much for all your support. just know my brother was a GREAT man he was so loving to me. i love him so much, i miss him so much. this is hard, real hard. but its your support that gets us through this, thank you much. much love.. 7/31/2010 1:37:34 AM

Marine Lance Cpl. Shane R. Martin was killed in action on 7/29/10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LCpl Martin was a great Marine. He has honered himself as well as the Marines he represents from past and present. I will miss you in the ranks. Semper Fi

GySgt 1st Light Armored Vehicle Bn