MARTIN, JOHN D.
Rank / Branch:
SGT E-5 U.S. Army
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
JOHN D. MARTIN, SERGEANT, U.S. ARMY, LAMESA, DAWSON COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star with "V" Device, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Born June 21, 1945 in Sulphur Springs, Texas, Johnny Martin was the son of Sybil McLarry and L.D. Martin. He was an only child and the only one on both sides of his family to graduate from college. After graduating from Lamesa High School in 1963, Martin earned his B.S. degree in transportation systems from Texas Tech University in 1967.
He was drafted into the Army right after college graduation and made the most of it. After basic training and AIT in infantry, he attended the NCO Academy at Harmony Church, Fort Benning, Georgia and was promoted to Sergeant. He began his tour in Vietnam on February 25, 1969. He was assigned to A Company, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, 198th Light Infantry Brigade and the Brigade was under the operational control of the 23rd Division (Americal). When Martin arrived in Vietnam, he was made a squad leader and he refused to order anyone to walk point on patrol; he always took the job himself. It was in doing this that he stepped on a mine and died on July 13, 1969.
Texas Tech Dormitory-1966
A friend wrote what could have been the eulogy of many who were killed in Vietnam: "I suspect John would have had an ordinary life, much like the rest of us. He would have married and had children, worked and complained about taxes. But the world, and our country, has been a poorer place since his death and the loss of the good will he carried with him everywhere he went. He was irreplaceable, but who among those who died was not?
Texas Tech 1968
"It seems that the losses suffered in our youth were more severe than those we have in middle age. We are now insulated by our families, but in those days, our friends were our family. Vietnam fragmented that family. Damn war!"
Sgt John D. Martin on Left with other Squad Leaders-Vietnam 1969
John was buried with full military honors in the Richland Cemetery in Sulphur Springs, Texas. After John's death, his parents returned to Sulphur Springs, Texas. John's father passed away September 15, 1972 and his mother passed away June 27, 2003. Both are buried next to John.
Richland Cemetery, Sulfur Springs, Texas