Loved ones of top ranking Fort Bliss leader who dies from combat wounds express condolences on social media
POSTED: Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 1:20pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 10:22am
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — It's a side of military service most people don't want to think about.
But even when knowing they might die while serving, soldiers raise their right hands and swear an oath to take the risk anyway, and it's just that kind of selfless service that others remember most.
"Command Sgt. Major Barreras would want soldiers to continue to go on and take the fight to the enemy regardless of if he died or another soldier died," said LTC. Lee Peters, spokesperson from Fort Bliss.
Fourty-nine year old Martin Barreras, the Command Sgt. Major from the Bulldog Brigade's 2-5 Infantry Regiment, was shot in combat in Afghanistan's Herat province after his unit was attacked on May 6th, 2014.
He died from those injuries at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Tuesday.
Loved ones took to social media to express their love and support for a man they say was a remarkable leader and friend.
"The United States military has lost a true hero and the ultimate ranger," said Kenneth Howard.
Theresa Horne said, "He is the strongest, bravest man I've ever met in my life."
CSM Barreras was born in New Mexico and graduated from a high school in Tucson, Arizona before joining the military.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1983 and then in the Army in 1988.
After multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, CSM Barreras deployed again to Afghanistan in March 2013.
In a statement, Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Edward Brady said "I've spent more time with him than my wife since I've taken command. I believe that I was the luckiest battalion commander in the Army to have him as my Command Sergeant Major."
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer also released a statement saying, "Our nation is forever indebted to individuals like Sgt. Maj. Barreras, who knowingly, selflessly and daily risk their lives to protect our nation and preserve our freedoms."
CSM Barreras received numerous awards over the course of his career, including the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star with Valor, and the Purple Heart.
A man of honor and courage to be remembered long after that final roll call.
Fort Bliss will hold a memorial service for CSM Barreras early in June.
A top leader from Fort Bliss has died after being wounded in action. Command Sergeant Major Martin R. Barreras, 49, died in San Antonio from wounds he received in Herat Province, Afghanistan earlier this month.
CSM Barreras, known by colleagues as Marty "Gunny" Barreras, of Tucson, Arizona, was the highest ranking non-commissioned officer with the 2nd Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment 'Bobcats,' which is part of the Bulldog Brigade, 1st Armored Division.
CSM Barreras became the Command Sergeant Major of the Bobcat battalion in March, during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at Fort Bliss. He was serving in Afghanistan when he was reportedly struck by a sniper on May 6, he was then evacuated to Germany and later to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he passed away early Tuesday morning.
According to a recent biography of CSM Barreras, he entered the Army in 1988 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. Barreras had served in every position including squad leader, platoon sergeant, first sergeant, Regimental Reconnaissance Company sergeant major, and Joint Special Operation Task Force sergeant major.
He had served in multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and also deployed in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
CSM Barreras had previously been awarded a Bronze Star with Valor, three Bronze Star Medals, Purple Heart, three Meritorious Service Medals, Two Joint Service Commendation Medals, four Army Commendation Medals among other accomplishments.
CSM Barreras is survived by his parents, Gloria and Ray Barreras, brothers Andy and David Barreras, wife Melinda Barreras, children Calvin, Amice, and Victorria and grandson Noah Barreras.