Houston Chronicle
April 8, 2003

21-year-old Fort Worth Marine killed by enemy fire

                           FAMILY MOURNS

                           Associated Press

                           FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth family grieved Tuesday for a 21-year-old Marine who was killed by
                           enemy fire in central Iraq on Monday.

                           Cpl. Jesus Martin "Marty" Antonio Medellin's family was informed of his death Monday night by four
                           Marine officers who came to the family's home.

                           Medellin's aunt, Simona Sifuentes, said he had been writing letters to his family from overseas. She
                           didn't think he was afraid.

                           "He was just very proud. He told us not to worry. He knew what he was doing. He was proud to be a
                           Marine," she said, standing outside the family home where an American flag and a Marine flag were
                           flying at half-staff.

                           "My son served his country proudly," said Freddy Medellin.

                           Marty Medellin, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton, graduated from W.E. Boswell High School in
                           Fort Worth in 2000.

                           He was killed when an enemy artillery round struck his Amphibious Assault Vehicle, said Staff Sgt.
                           Richard Ruiz of the Department of Defense's press office.

                           Medellin was assigned to the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp

                           A yellow ribbon and a small U.S. flag tied to the mailbox rustled in the breeze outside the one-story
                           painted brick home. Flowers, flags and teddy bears rested beneath a front window -- gifts from family
                           and friends.

                           Another yellow ribbon was tied in a big bow around a tree in the Medellins' front yard.

                           Sifuentes said she and Medellin's 11-year-old brother Simon had been going to church to pray for the
                           Marine's safety. They were shocked to get the news of his death.

                           "He would always play games with me, chess, and we would play on the computer," Simon said. "He
                           would take me to movies and to the store a lot."

                           Family described Medellin as gentle, quiet, family-oriented and active in church. He loved his
                           grandmother's tortillas, Sifuentes said.

                           A candlelight vigil is planned for tonight outside the family's home in northwest Fort Worth.

                           Freddy Medellin said since "my son gave his life for our country" he hoped the state of Texas would
                           free his brother John Pena Medellin from prison three months early, in part to allow him to attend the
                           funeral. He said his brother was serving 12 years for manslaughter.

                           Asked if he had advice for other families with relatives in the military, he said, "I know they're as proud
                           of their family members as I am of my son. If it's any comfort, our prayers are with them just as we
                           know their prayers are with us."