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Local doctor gives back as leader, mentor

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Dr. Reynaldo Martinez, center, leads “Walk with a Doc” gatherings at Cielo Grande Recreation Area, which combine health or fitness presentations and exercise. Also pictured are his wife, Lori Martinez, left, and Wendolyn Davis, a recent guest speaker at one of the events. (Submitted Photo)

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Dr. Reynaldo Martinez comes from a large family, being the fourth of 14 children.

While attending Goddard High School for two years, he was on the wrestling team — an experience, he says, that changed his life. Not because he was a great grappler, but because the self-discipline and work ethic Coach Les Paul instilled in him helped him endure a lifetime of challenges.

“Anytime in my life that I encountered a difficult situation, I would remind myself that after high school wrestling, everything else was easy,” Martinez said.

His dedicated parents, after living in a tiny two-bedroom mud house, built the family a four-bedroom home in Midway, which had Martinez completing school at Roswell High.

“My favorite teacher at RHS was Mr. Al Long,” Martinez said. “I was his student aide, and he sincerely believed in me, telling me I had the potential to do something good with my life. I will always appreciate his confidence in me and his sage guidance.”

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Boarding an airplane after graduation, Martinez entered the U.S. Navy. “As I was going through the aircraft hatch, I turned to wave at Ma and Pa and, wearing a wide smile, I yelled that I would never be back. I found out later that one should never make such a bold declaration.”

As fate would have it, in 2000 he returned to finish his family medicine residency through Eastern New Mexico Medical Center.

“I now jokingly declare that ‘I am doing life in Roswell, New Mexico,’” he said.

Having a background with the Cub Scouts, when Dr. Martinez’s own two sons began attending Military Heights Elementary, they found a very active Cub Scout group and joined with enthusiasm. “We’ll always be grateful to Mr. Steve Shanor for leading this group through their entire grade school years,” Martinez said. “Our boys had some amazing experiences, setting up a platform for their future adventures in the Boy Scouts. Steve set a precedence in leadership and I decided to get more involved. In Boy Scouts, our sons met exceptional male role models, like Mr. Drew Cloutier, Dr. Rick Pinon and Mr. Bobby Arnett.”

Martinez eventually took over from Cloutier and became Troop 149’s leader, and fondly remembers the many trips they took, including being a part of the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.

In the medical community, his oldest son, Joseph, made his mark by starting a free medical clinic for uninsured people. Dr. Martinez states: “He was able to do this under the guidance of Jane Batson, an angel on earth and now an angel in heaven. This clinic was in continuous service for eight years, and we owe thanks to Leandra Finney, ACNP, Randy McGuire, CFNP, Mary Ann McGuire, CFNP and Lucy Moreno for the many hours they volunteered.”

Joseph’s free clinic ceased operation at the onset of the pandemic, and he is now working as the preparator at the Roswell Museum and Art Center.

Younger son Lucas built the aircraft cockpit bus stop on the west side of the Roswell Airport.

Playing football at Goddard, he was presented with the Goddard Rocket Coaches Fighting Heart Award his senior year by his mentor and coach, Chris White.

As Martinez states about both his boys, “Their Boy Scouting experience helped them grow into the confident, productive young men we see today.”

Married for 35 years, Martinez said, “If wrestling saved me in high school, Lori saved me in adulthood. For many years, we’ve worked side-by-side, and have always managed to laugh. She tells me often that God put me here to keep her amused. I frequently will be heard saying that I love my job so much, I run to work every day. I have been blessed in making important decisions, truly guided by God, and I hear Him most clearly when I run … and I run a lot.”

Martinez has a group of admirers thanks to his work giving back to the community.

“When I came back as a family medicine resident,” he said, “I had an orthopedic rotation with Tres Latimer, M.D. He and Dr. Rick Pinon were carrying on a tradition of Friday night sideline physicians at the Wool Bowl.”

Along with Pinon, Dr. Ben Bowles and Jaime Luna, RN, Martinez works to “keep our future leaders safe and in the game,” he said.

Another volunteer job he thoroughly enjoys is a group he leads called Walk with a Doc Roswell. In their sixth year, they meet every Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area. “I, or a guest speaker, gives a brief health or fitness presentation, and then we go sweat. Interactions with other people are vital to our overall health and we’ve formed a tight group, spawning many good friendships.

“I am thankful to Jane Anglin, who gives us a report of community events every Saturday morning.”

Each day, the doctor counsels people regarding good nutrition principles, adequate sleep and consistent exercise. He’s also made a solid commitment to his own personal fitness, believing in the premise of leading by example.

“Everything I teach, I practice,” he says. “My goal is to grow very old with my patients and foster a wave of healthy, productive silver citizens. My emphasis, however, isn’t limited. I start counseling patients when they’re young.”

“When parents bring a young child to me whose teachers are calling for drugs to calm their disruptiveness, I do not reach for the prescription pad. Instead, I send them to see someone like Professor Ben Bowles or John Parker at the Bowles Gracie Jiu Jitsu gym to learn self-confidence and discipline. This is much better therapy than any prescription drug.”

He added, “I pay closer attention to single-parent homes because I believe each family needs to have a strong male in order to lead, protect and provide. This was also part of our emphasis in Boy Scouts — to be solid male role models for boys who were lacking this in their respective homes.

“I challenge all men to step up in this capacity. There’s always that single-parent neighborhood kid that could benefit from learning about camping, etc. We need to help this generation become strong, confident leaders we can depend on as we get older. I also enjoy mentoring exceptional high school students interested in the medical profession. … I believe medicine remains a humble, yet rewarding profession, and I encourage any student that’s willing to put in the work.”

Martinez said he remains encouraged about the future of this community and humanity in general.

“I look forward to seeing how it all turns out,” he said.

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Amy Lignor Special to the Daily Record