Thursday, August 19, 2010

Army Sgt. Martin A. Lugo

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Martin A. Lugo, 24, of Tucson, Ariz.

Sgt. Lugo was assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.; died Aug. 19, 2010 in Puli Alam, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

Army Ranger Martin Lugo Jr., a 2004 Tucson High Magnet School graduate, was killed in Afghanistan Thursday.

The native Tucsonan's family was notified of his death Thursday morning, his uncle Jesse Lugo said in an e-mail.

Lugo, 24, enlisted in the Army after high school.

He re-enlisted in February because "he had a strong spirit to protect the freedom that we enjoy as Americans," Jesse Lugo wrote in the e-mail.

Friday morning, the Department of Defense said Martin Lugo was killed Aug. 19 in Puli Alam, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.

His mother, Maria Marin, is the principal of the Tucson Unified School District's Wright Elementary School, 4311 E. Linden St. She has asked for privacy to grieve with her family and friends, and said information about her son would be released later.

As an Army Ranger, Lugo was "a flexible, highly trained and rapidly deployable light infantry soldier" assigned to special operations, according to an Army website.

Lugo is the 47th service member with ties to Tucson and Southern Arizona to be claimed since combat operations began.

From the Army Ranger website:

Sgt. Martin Anthony Lugo, 24, was a squad leader assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. He was born on April 22, 1986, and was a native of Tucson, Ariz.Sgt. Lugo was seriously wounded in a fire fight with the enemy during a combat operation in Logar Province, Afghanistan. He was treated immediately by unit medical personnel and quickly evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds.He was on his sixth deployment in support of the War on Terror. He had previously deployed three times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.After graduating from high school in Tucson, Lugo enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2004. He completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. Then after graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning, Ga. Following graduation from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, Lugo was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in April 2005, where he served as an ammunition handler, automatic rifleman, team leader and squad leader.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, the Warrior Leader Course, and the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader Course.

Lugo’s awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge. He was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two combat stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with combat star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.

He is survived by his father, Martin Lugo; his mother Maria Marin and step-father Esteban Oropeza; and, his sister Leslie Bencic and his brother-in-law Christopher Bencic, all of Tucson, Ariz.

As a Ranger, Lugo selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier light-infantry unit, continuously deployed in support of the War on Terror, and fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and the Nation.

Army Sgt. Martin A. Lugo was killed in action on 8/19/10.

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