Parker veteran marks 10 years since he lost his legs in Afghanistan – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2020-11-26 10:40:05 –

Over time, the question of whether Gabe Martinez lost his leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day 2010 or the next day has become a dark humor issue for him and his wife. ..

Early in the morning of Friday, November 26, at the Taliban Fortress in Marja, he was blown into the air by stepping on a buried glass bottle filled with an estimated 25 pounds of explosive. But for his wife in Lakewood, it was still Thursday night.

“I tell my wife that it sounds cool to say Thanksgiving,” said Martinez, a retired Marine who grew up in Westminster. “She said,’It was Black Friday. It’s just as cool.'”

Today, Martinez is fighting another kind of war for homeland security, using digital forensics “to fight the pandemic of child exploitation.” As a father of three, he personally takes those crimes.

“The point is to put the child’s predator behind the bar,” said Martinez, who lives near Parker. “That’s true, it’s probably worse than people understand, and it’s a war here at our homefront where we need to fight. There are people who prey on our most vulnerable people every day. I’m in. “

He traces his warrior mindset back to the day of the 9/11 attack in 2001, when he was in seventh grade. He remembers the expressionless face of his father on the drive to school that day and how his teacher had the same face. It was the day he learned what terrorism was.

“It was like a fire that broke out in my years as a teenager,” said Martinez, 32. He wanted to participate in the war on terrorism. It’s been a few months since I graduated in 2007.

Dangerous because it was his job to wipe out metal detector-filled explosives when the IED was filling US military hospitals with disabled soldiers before he was deployed. I knew it would be. He told his family that he wanted to die rather than come back without his feet.

That feeling changed instantly. Only 48 days after his deployment, and four months after the wedding, the IED was able to blow him into the air and overlook a vehicle parked nearby.

“As soon as I landed on the ground, it was like this moment of silence, and I felt the decision whether I wanted to live was mine,” Martinez said. “I heard the voice of God say,’Do you want to live?’. Without hesitation, I said so. As soon as I said yes, it was like,’This is your reality.’ .. The right foot was on the chest and the left foot was hanging sideways. “

Parker veteran marks 10 years since he lost his legs in Afghanistan Source link Parker veteran marks 10 years since he lost his legs in Afghanistan

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