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