In what seems like forever, we have heard “a good man is hard to find.” In many ways that is true and the world needs more good men that lead their families and raise their children beside their wives, caring and nurturing for them.
But like all other humans, good men do not remain forever and for any number of reasons, leave us too soon.
We lost just such a man in recent weeks that served his country, was a guiding beacon to his family and served others long after removing his uniform.
No, I do not mean Beau Biden, although he too was a good man by all accounts. I mean another that you will not see on TV or being eulogized by a president. Few outside of his home will take notice of his passing or the pain felt by his loved ones at his passing.
You see, he was just a good man, not related to a Vice-President or politician. He was just one of those faceless good men the world has too few of.
Jose Luis Martinez passed away on May 20, 2015, while on the “trip of a lifetime” on the Mediterranean Sea that his daughter purchased for him and his wife as an early anniversary present.
I never met Jose face to face, but did have interactions with him from time to time through a group of other Vietnam Veterans, all of us having served in sister units of the 7/17th Air Cavalry during the Vietnam War.
While I was enlisted in C Troop, he was a Warrant Officer in A Troop, a helicopter pilot having enlisted in the U.S. Army right out of High School and receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions as a pilot.
In spite of not meeting formally, he was my brother, as other Vietnam Vets will understand.
Jose was very active in the Ruthless Riders Association, “A website dedicated to the soldiers of the 7-17th Air Cavalry, past and present”
Jose had a huge heart and loved his family to the fullest, as he did life, enjoying it right to the very end.
No, his passing will not make the evening news and few will notice he is gone, but the world is a little worse off as we lost such a good man.
Rest in peace Soldier. Your mission is complete.