AMERICAN HERO: Marco Martinez Tells His Courageous Story

After he slapped down John F. Kerry in the first couple of pages of Hard Corps I knew this was a book I was going to enjoy.
And, I did.
And, it looks like I wasn’t the only one.

Navy Secretary Gordon England pinned the Silver Star on Marine Cpl. Timothy C. Tardif at Camp Pendleton. Staff Sgt. Adam R. Sikes (center) also received the Silver Star; Sgt. Marco A. Martinez (at far left) received the Navy Cross in April 2004. (Sign on San Diego)

Marco A. Martinez, a young Marine and war hero, describes his early years as a gang-banger to his days in boot camp to the heat of battle in Iraq. Martinez has a gift for writing and gritty style that keeps you interested. Perhaps the best review listed for his book came from this young man:

My name is Paul Gardner, known in the book as just “Gardner”, and as someone who fought in battle with Sgt Martinez, I can and will vouch for this book. If it wasn’t for Marco Martinez’ actions that day, April 12, 2003, I would not be alive today. The enemy was trying their hardest to shoot me again and finish me off after the initial gun shot wound I suffered, hitting my spinal cord and immediantly paralyzing my body. I was forced to just watch the insurgents shoot round after round at my limp and motionless body. I was so scared and knew I was going to die. I passed out from shock.

What unfolded in the next five minutes while I was passed out was simply the most brave and selfless action I never got to see, just hear about and read about later.

Now, that’s a review!
Hard Corps describes the courageous actions of Marco A. Martinez– a Navy Cross Recipient and Iraq War hero.

MARCO MARTINEZ, the first Hispanic American since Vietnam to be awarded the Navy Cross and the first Marine to receive that honor in the War on Terror. From in New Mexico, moved to So. CA and attends a community college while working full-time in nuclear security.


The Navy Times wrote a cover story on Marine hero Marco Martinez back in November:

The moral of this story is pretty simple: As impossible as it may sometimes seem, people can change. Even small-minded, petty and violent criminals like Marco Martinez.

Ponder the highlights from his 2004 Navy Cross citation:

“After his squad leader was wounded, he took control and led the assault through a tree line where the ambush originated. As his squad advanced to secure successive enemy positions, it received sustained small arms fire from a nearby building. Enduring intense enemy fire and without regard for his own personal safety, Corporal Martinez launched a captured enemy rocket propelled grenade into the building temporarily silencing the enemy and allowing a wounded Marine to be evacuated and receive medical treatment. After receiving additional fire, he single-handedly assaulted the building and killed four enemy soldiers with a grenade and his rifle.”

Not bad for a soulless former gangbanger, a self described “sh–head” who, before joining the Corps, was on a bullet train to loser land.

His is an epic tale of the redemptive power of military service, the glories and horrors of war and the constant quest for forgiveness and acceptance.

It’s also a love story, of sorts. Love for his “brothers from other mothers” and for the Big Green Marine Machine itself.

“All I ever am, or will become, I owe to my beloved Corps,” he unabashedly says.


“They say that those who experience combat never see the world the same way again. That’s been true for me. I’ve seen the world through rifle sights. Everywhere I go, the war is present.”

Marco Martinez also wrote an article for Townhall in October: “The 5 Things I Saw that Make Me Support the War”

Cool Blue has more on hero Marco Martinez.

Hard Corps is available at HERE.
It is a wonderful story and there is already talk of a possible movie in the works.
Thank you Marco Martinez for your courageous service.

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