TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An Army soldier from Tucson died Tuesday from wounds suffered in Afghanistan last week, the Department of Defense announced today.
According to the announcement, Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R. Barreras, 49, was there in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has ordered that all state flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset tomorrow, May 16.
The DOD announcement said Barreras died May 13, in San Antonio Military Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from wounds suffered on May 6, in Harat Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
Tucson congressman Ron Barber, who recently visited American troops in Afghanistan, issued a statement expressing his sympathies to the soldier's family: "Command Sgt. Maj. Barreras's death is a reminder that although the United States is winding down our combat role in Afghanistan, we still have men and women who are placing themselves in harm's way every day."
According to the Army Times, Barreras was the senior enlisted soldier for 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, which is part of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, TX.
Barreras served for 22 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment, serving in 1st and 2nd Battalions, the Special Troops Battalion and the regimental headquarters.
According to his bio on the Military Marksmanship Association web site, Barreras entered the Army in 1988 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. He served multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and deployed in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
Barreras is survived by his parents, Ray and Gloria, two brothers, David and Andy, wife Melinda, three children, Calvin, Amice and Victorria, and three grandchildren, Collin, Noah and Claire.
Statement from Governor Jan Brewer:
"I ask that all Arizonans hold in their thoughts and prayers the family of U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Martin Barreras, a Tucson soldier who passed away Tuesday, May 13, from injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Barreras, 49, dedicated more than three decades to military service, including five years as a U.S. Marine before enlisting in the Army. He was the top senior enlisted soldier assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. Sgt. Maj. Barreras died from injuries he sustained in action in Harat Province, Afghanistan, where he has been deployed since December 2013.
"Our nation is forever indebted to individuals like Sgt. Maj. Barreras, who knowingly, selflessly and daily risk their lives to protect our nation and preserve our freedoms. As we mourn this American hero, let us always honor all of our nation's men and women in uniform with our eternal gratitude and admiration.
"Out of respect for Sgt. Maj. Barreras, I have ordered that all state flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset tomorrow, May 16, 2014, and again on the day of his interment, for which services are pending."