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Since 2001, 2321 U.S. troops have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan, and between 2003 and 2012, 4468 U.S. troops lost their lives while serving in Iraq.

The IGTNT (I Got The News Today) series is a reminder that nearly every day, somebody gets the heartbreaking news that a friend, former classmate, or beloved family member will not be coming home from war.

Tonight we remember an Veteran Army Ranger and family man killed in Afghanistan:

Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R Barreras, 49, of Tucson, Arizona

Please take a moment below to remember him,
and all those who have died in these wars.

The Department of Defense confirmed the death of a soldier with nearly three decades of military service:

Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R Barreras, 49, of Tucson, Arizona

Command Sgt. Maj. Barreras died May 13, in San Antonio Military Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, a week after suffering wounds from small arms fire against his unit in Harat Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Relatives and friends gathered Thursday at the south-side Tucson home of the Barreras family. Martin Barreras was born in New Mexico, but his family moved to Arizona where Martin graduated from Sunnyside High School.

After high school, Martin enlisted in the Marines, where he served for five years before enlisting in the Army in 1988. According to the Army Times, Barreras was the senior enlisted soldier for 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, which is part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

During his career, CSM Barreras served multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed in the invasion of Panama and was part of a peacekeeping mission in Haiti.  Command Sgt. Major Barreras served for 22 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment, serving in 1st and 2nd Battalions, the Special Troops Battalion and the regimental headquarters. He served in virtually every enlisted duty and leadership position, including squad leader, platoon sergeant, first sergeant and sergeant major, according to the Arizona Star.

Following his assignment with the 75th Ranger Regiment, he served as the command sergeant major of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit from August 2009 to August 2012. In March 2013, he was assigned as the senior enlisted advisor for the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013, reported Tucson Sentinel.

Command Sgt. Major Barreras was married to wife Melinda and the father of three; daughters Amice and Victorria, and a son, Calvin. He had three grandchildren, Collin, Noah and Claire. He deployed to Afghanistan in December of last year, and sent his family a Christmas Greeting from his camp. Army Times

During his long career of service, Command Sgt. Major Barreras received numerous awards and decorations, including two Bronze Star medals, a Purple Heart medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge with one star, and a Legion of Merit medal, awarded  "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements" according to Fort Bliss in the Tucson Sentinel.
Tucson News Now reported that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ordered state flags be flown at half-staff on Friday from sunrise to sunset out of respect for CSM Barreras. Tucson congressman Ron Barber, who recently visited American troops in Afghanistan, issued a statement expressing his sympathies to the soldier's family:  "Command Sgt. Maj. Barreras's death is a reminder that although the United States is winding down our combat role in Afghanistan, we still have men and women who are placing themselves in harm's way every day."
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“Command Sgt. Maj. Barreras was my friend and battle buddy,” said Lt. Col. Edward Brady, the battalion commander, in a statement reported in the Army Times. “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.

“While every soldier in this formation is extremely saddened by his loss, his Bobcats are doing exactly what he would expect of us: continuing on with the mission and taking the fight to the enemy. This man would do absolutely anything and everything to ensure his soldiers came home safely.”

Among those Command Sgt. Maj. Barreras leaves behind are his wife, three children, three grandchildren, his parents and two brothers, and the men in his command.

Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R Barreras is missed. May he rest on Peace.


Thanks to Timroff for our faithfully lighted candle IGTNT logo;
Other Photos by CalNM and linked Sources
Helping our troops: If you wish to assist our military and their families, consider Operation Helmet, or sponsoring a deployed service member at TroopCarePackage.com. Fisher House provides housing for families of injured troops and veterans who are recovering in hospitals, and Guardian angels for soldiers pets assists the animal companions of our deployed military.

When our veterans come back home, they can find support at Welcome Back Veterans. Our recently returned veterans need jobs, and Veterans Green Jobs is now hiring for positions and filling training sessions. VGJ corps retrains veterans as leaders in forest and resource conservation, green construction, and energy efficient upgrades of homes in rural areas. Encourage a Veteran, and see if you can help out.

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About the IGTNT series: I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect, and remember the fallen, and to remind us that each casualty has family and friends who received the terrible news that their loved one has died at war. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories. The US Department of Defense news releases are found at defense gov/releases. Icasualties lists the names of those killed, and shows the number of wounded. Published AP photos of the returning war fatalities are found on the Dover AFB page. Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries in the series which was begun by i dunno, and with diaries written by monkeybiz, noweasels, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, a girl in MI, Spam Nunn, JeNoCo, Janos Nation, True Blue Majority, Proud Mom and Grandma, Sandy on Signal, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Ms Wings, maggiejean, JaxDem, theFatLadySings, Ekaterin, Joy of Fishes, and me, CalNM. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for our fallen brothers and sisters.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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