Home News Local News Veterans Day event in Artesia features one of its own

Veterans Day event in Artesia features one of its own

The Artesia High School band performs The Star Spangled Banner before Friday's Veterans Day celebration near City Hall. (Mike Smith Photo)

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ARTESIA — “It’s been 20 years since I first raised my right hand and swore to give this great nation my committed and faithful service.”

Those were words given by Capt. Pedro N. Martinez III. He graduated from Artesia High School in 1998 and served as the keynote speaker during the Veterans Day Celebration Friday near Artesia’s city hall.

He is the Commander of the 910 Quartermaster Company at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

“As a child I remember seeing photos of soldiers in uniform at my grandparents’,” he said.

Martinez said members of his family also served in the Armed Forces. “I can say that everyone in the family that ever served came home safely.”

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Martinez added that he has a dog tag that has been to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Martinez said that he has also made some personal sacrifices during his military career.  “There were missed events to include funerals, baptisms or weddings.”

During his speech Martinez took a trip down memory lane as the community came out and showed their support for Army Reserve members who came back from Desert Storm.

“I can recall attending the Veterans Day event in 2000 at the (Estelle Yates) auditorium. I wanted one day to also be one of the combat veterans as I saw the men who had been to the wars earlier standing up as they were recognized,” he said.

He also remembered  his school days when a teacher talked about Pearl Harbor, “and a student made a smart comment, and I recall the instructor exclaiming that his father was at Pearl Harbor the day it was attacked.”

The classroom became quiet yet I never thanked him for doing that. That little small action played a part in me serving this nation,” he said.

In addition to Martinez’s speech, those attending the ceremony also heard patriotic songs from Artesia third graders. The Artesia High School band also performed.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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