With a Patriot Guard procession and the salutes of fellow Marines, the body of Cpl. Alex Martinez made its way back to Elgin on Friday. Sharon Wright reports.
Funeral Services for Cpl. Alex Martinez were held Saturday afternoon in Hoffman Estates.
Martinez, who was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif., died in Afghanistan's Helmand province last week.
Saturday's services were held at Life Changers International Church, at 2500 Beverly Road in Hoffman Estates, where Martinez was a regular churchgoer.
With a Patriot Guard procession and the salutes of fellow Marines, Martinez's body made its way back to Elgin on Friday.
"Corporal Martinez is one of our own, a life-long Elgin resident," police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said Friday after the Marine's body was returned home. "We must welcome him home to honor his service and his family's service to the city of Elgin and the sacrifices they made."
Martinez joined the Marines shortly after turning 18 in December of 2008, his stepfather, Jim Bethke, told reporters last week.
"We have an aunt who's in the Army and then my dad's in the Navy Reserves, so he kind of wanted to be like them," one of his sisters, Jenny Martinez, told NBC Chicago. "He wanted to serve his country and just try to make a better future for all the younger kids and their families."
Martinez's family has set up a post office box address for condolences:
Family of Cpl. Alex Martinez
P.O. Box 905
Carpentersville, IL 60110