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Boy Pays Tribute to Father on Memorial Day at Fort Rosecrans

Landon Martinez, 8, and was given a flag in honor of his father Sgt. Michael Martinez at Fort Rosecrans. Sgt. Martinez was killed in Iraq in 2007

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds gathered at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery for the 114th Memorial Service and Day of Remembrance. NBC 7's Military Reporter Bridget Naso bring the story of one boy who was there to pay tribute to his father.

    As many across the nation remember those in the armed forces on Memorial Day, the holiday is also a chance for families of fallen soldiers to pay tribute to their lost loved ones.

    This is the case for eight-year-old Landon Martinez who is one of many children who know the meaning of Memorial Day all too well. 

    Landon and his family were at Fort Rosecrans in Point Loma on Monday to remeber Landon's father, Sgt. Michael Martinez, as they do on the 28th of each month.

    When Landon was one-years-old, Sgt. Martinez died in combat in Iraq when he and four of his fellow soldiers were ambushed on June 28, 2007.

    “The day my son was killed he called and I got a chance to talk to him,” Landon’s grandmother said.

    While they spoke, she said Sgt. Martinez asked her to wake up Landon.

    “I want to hear his cry, I want to know that he’s ok and I’m doing this for him and for you and for everybody in America," he said.

    On Monday, Landon was given a flag in memory of his father at the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day event.

    Since Sgt. Martinez's death, Landon’s grandparents said they do everything they can to keep their son’s memory alive. They said Landon understands who his father was and described him as an athletic and active young man who loved his country.

    “He not only played baseball and football in high school but learned how to skateboard and he loved the water,” said Sgt. Martinez’s father.

    The Martinez family said that Sgt. Martinez's sacrifice is also Landon’s sacrifice.

    “And as he gets older he gets more realization of the sacrifice that his father made for this country and for him so that we can maintain our freedoms.”

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