The Journey Of a Lifetime
This book is a combination of my emails to my son Rick, the poems and prayers he wrote, along with his mass emails to many people around the world. It expresses how a soldier feels during wartime, along with a mother's thoughts. I hope it helps anyone who has to go through a similar experience. The following was included in my final email to him.
This has been quite the year. I learned how to send an email and attachments. I learned how to deal with the military... I was looking over all of the past years emails, that we sent to each other and so much has changed. From the light stuff to talk about when you first left, to all of the scary stuff that has ended this past year.
...I also want you to remember, how many times I have told you that I'm proud of you.
...I honestly, think that your emails must have affected a lot of people and that you had to have made a difference in some of their lives, in a spiritual way. If they didn't believe before this year, they must at least be thinking about God, after this year! Our faith has kept us all strong. Without it I really don't know how we would have made it... I really do have a strong faith, it's the unknown that was the scariest. Not knowing what God's plan was for you was very hard. Yes, I had faith that whatever was to be, would be, but not knowing what that was, made it a very long, hard year.
...So as the song says "Come Home Soon," we're all waiting for you and I know it will all turn out ok, and that we will all be better off, having gone through such a hard and long year.
Congratulations on all that you've achieved, learned, taught and for the way you represented your family and country, WE ARE ALL VERY PROUD OF YOU
The following is part of Rick's final email:
As a final mission, it will be short and simple and something everyone can do. Your last FIRE MISSION is...TO REWARD YOURSELF!!!! Somehow, some way, reward yourself for taking the time in making a difference in a soldier's life. Do whatever, get ice cream (that's what I did for winning my boards), buy a movie, buy yourself a gift, but treat yourself to something knowing that you have done your duty, in supporting a soldier at war, and he is thankful because of it. Whatever it is, know that you are rewarding yourself, because every time you prayed, it gave me a chance to escape death and enabled me to come home to my daughter, my sweetheart and my family and friends. I'm not gone yet, but you all have kept me safe, and that is worthy enough. Whether it be a massage, a bath, a CD, a favorite snack or whatever, TREAT YOURSELF!!!!
I pray our final stages here go smooth and that I make it home safely, I still have to go through Kuwait, Germany, and then to Ft. McCoy in WI. As always, thank you, take care, God Bless, and be healthy, happy and safe!!
Your American Soldier, Sgt. Ricardo J. Martinez
The End of the Journey
(Bravo Battery accomplished the following: processed over 160,000 Local National temporary workers, 64,000 Local National vehicles, 22,000 Iraqi Army soldiers, and they received over half of all logistical supplies for the Victory Base Complex. They encountered 160 mortars, 211 small arm engagements, and 287 miscellaneous other explosions within their area of operations, with zero Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device attacks. They developed relationships with 15 Iraqi interpreters and the 31 officers at Iraqi Police Station 41 in Abu Ghraib, Iraq. They confiscated large quantities of illegal narcotics, money, and weapons intended for distribution within the Victory Base Complex.)
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About the Author
RICK MARTINEZ - Son and father to a sixteen month old daughter. While on duty in Iraq, Rick had a large following of supporters who helped to keep him strong by their many emails and packages which showed their faith and love to him. Rick in return sent mass emotional emails to everyone with as much information as was allowed by the military. He filled his emails with detailed information on what it is like to serve in a war, from the everyday life to being under attack. He started sending emails from day one and ended with what it was like to be a civilian once again, including getting married weeks after he arrived home.
Date of Birth:March 12, 1948
Place of Birth:Waco, Texas
Education:Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
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