A soldier with local ties who died last month while serving in South Korea received a solemn tribute Wednesday as his hearse entered downtown Derry.
With a massive American flag waving over Broadway, a hearse carrying the flag-draped coffin of Brandon Martinez was escorted by local and state police as it drove through town en route to Peabody Funeral Home.
Martinez, 24, died June 19 while serving with the U.S. Army, 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea at Camp Humphreys. His death came 10 days after participating in combat water survival training, according to statements released.
He was born in Mesa, Arizona but was also raised in Londonderry where he attended school and worked at the local Shady Hill Greenhouse until enlisting in the Army in 2019, working as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist, according to his obituary.
Martinez and his military units stationed at Humphreys also took part in training on how to escape and survive in water environments.
According to a statement included in his obituary, Martinez "set a fine example for the other soldiers with his professionalism, teamwork and work ethic."
The statement went on to say Martinez had a great quality of caring for his fellow soldiers.
"He had a phenomenally big heart and always wanted to stand up and do what was right for his team," according to the statement.
Martinez also was honored with many commendations, and medals for his service including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, and others.
His family called him a "free spirited individual" who "walked his own path and walked it well," the obituary read.
Martinez will be honored with calling hours Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m., at the Peabody Funeral Home on Mammoth Road in Londonderry. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday, July 9, 11:30 a.m. at St. Jude Parish on Mammoth Road. Burial with military honors will follow in the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.