SGT Martin A. Lugo Bracelet
SGT Martin A. Lugo Bracelet
To attempt to explain who Martin was as a person in a few paragraphs to someone seems almost impossible. He was such an amazing person with a great heart and huge personality. You may not have gotten that right away though. You see he was someone who observed first. He paid attention to people, surroundings, everything you could possibly pay attention to really. If you stuck around long enough, once he was comfortable, well, that’s when you had the privilege of seeing everything amazing about him.
Ever since Martin was little he had always wanted to join the military. My mom always talked about how he had a shirt with a Black Hawk on it and how he would always say that he would fly in one when he was older. We were 15 months apart in age so growing up we were very close. Looking back on everything he had done as we were growing up, its easy to see he was destined to join the military and knowing he never settled for anything basic, it was no surprise Martin decided to become an Airborne Ranger. I remember when he was around 11 or 12 he would take off to go exploring the desert and climb the mountain that was across the street from our house. He would leave early afternoon and sometimes wouldn’t come back till after dark. Back then it was unheard of for kids our age to carry cell phones or any other expensive piece of technology so when he was out roaming around all he had was himself. I would sit at the window for hours hoping nothing had happened to him and wondering when I would finally see him pop out from behind a tree to cross the street to come home. There would even be times I would yell at my mother and ask her how she wasn’t worried, I guess a mother has that instinct and knows when things are ok cause he would always make it home perfectly fine. Martin always sought out for adventure, excelled in what he did and loved being outdoors.
I didn’t know a whole lot of his life back in Savannah while he was serving, aside from the obvious things like when he would deploy and that it was pretty dangerous. Of course there were also a ton of questions from family and friends when he would come home asking about everything that was his job, which majority of the time he would just smile and laugh only answering a few of the questions because he couldn’t answer them all. He was pretty good at keeping his Arizona home life separate from his life in Savannah. I could understand why he did though, personally I think it was so he could just relax for the short time that he was back home. He was a very loyal person who loved his friends and his family so it was easy to see how much it was reciprocated to him, especially after his passing. Since I mostly knew just one side of my brother and not a whole lot of the man he was to serve with, one of his good friends he did serve with has written a small entry on him that I have included as well as one from our younger cousin who followed in his footsteps.
24 years was not enough time with him, but in that short time with my brother I learned that you have to do what you want, don’t half ass things, and live your life to the fullest. All of those are much easier said than done but I try to keep them in mind and live the way he would want me to. Oh, and to pet puppies. Martin loved puppies. He had a goal to pet all the puppies in the world. Maybe we can all help him and pet all the puppies we see in his honor J. As much as it saddens me that he is gone and as much as I miss him terribly, I know how much he believed in what he was doing and how much he loved his job and the men he served with. If he could have chosen his way out, I know it would have been the way he went. I’m so very honored to have been able to grow up with such an amazing person and cannot put into words how proud I am to be Martin’s sister! My Airborne Ranger in The Sky, forever my hero! RLTW!
When it comes to Martin, being my big cousin growing up and a Ranger and trying to separate the two is almost imperceptible to me at this point. So much that I learned myself as a Ranger was completely new to me but at it's core, very familiar. A lot of that feeling I didn't quite understand at the time but after the initial shock wore off, I realized these lessons I was getting were so in line with Martin's personality that there is no mistaking he was born to be a Ranger. Growing up together I saw a guy with a wild imagination which would prove invaluable in an organization which prides itself on leadership and being highly adaptive. I don't remember the guy being bored once or having one task ever be too much for him to handle. I scarcely can remember another person as determined and strong willed as him. To this day I have not met another outside of Regiment. Becoming a man of 1 Charlie and having the distinct privilege of even being around some of his peers is something I hold in the highest of regards because, well, they were a different breed. We all lived in the same family, shared a similar home, traveled similar paths, wore the same scrolls, but there is no denying the caliber of Ranger which came from his generation. These were the heroes we looked up to. These were the legends we spoke of. From day one all I had heard was that he was a Ranger's Ranger, one I aspired to be like. One thing I know for sure is that men like him and the Rangers he sweat blood with are not born everyday. They are exceedingly rare and the kind we need more of.
-Alex Morales (Cousin, former 1/75 Ranger)
Martin Lugo was a warrior, leader, and friend that I respected and trusted with my own life. As I look back at some of the situations we came across, I can only think about how much trust we had for each other. From moments when my only protection from an enemy force was his technical and tactical expertise. I could go talk for hours about the times we shared in dangerous combat situations but Martin's friendship and our relationship went past that. Martin was a friend that could motivate you even when you didn't feel like you had it in you. I remember as Team Leaders watching him take the extra effort and time to ensure the intricate details of reloading a rifle with a new magazine were taught to his Rangers. He would make sure they could conduct these actions as a Battle Drill so as to free them to think about the greater task at hand in firefight. It not only inspired and motivated me it set the standard for where we as leaders needed to be. On all aspects of being a Ranger Martin has influenced me. Martin lived his life doing what he loved to do and would never waste a moment to find the silver lining in them. Regardless of it being bad or good times. Martin has truly impacted this unit and will always be in the hearts and memories of the Ranger Regiment.
SFC Vaughn Michael A.
1/75 LNO NCO.