U.S. Army soldier laid to rest in Tucson - Tucson News Now

U.S. Army soldier laid to rest in Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A U.S. Army soldier who died from wounds suffered in an attack in Afghanistan was laid to rest in Tucson Saturday.

A memorial service for Command Sgt. Maj. Martin Barreras was held at the Christ Community Church, followed by a funeral service at South Lawn Cemetery.

Members of the American Legion Post held American flags outside the church as loved ones remembered what kind of man CSM Barreras was beyond his service.

"He set the standard for all of us. He set the standard, then exceeded it," brother Dave Barreras said before hundreds of people who attended the service.

A slideshow highlighting CSM Barreras' life showed he was not only a U.S. Army Ranger who served for 22 years, but one who put family first.

"Marty may have died under the banner of sua sponte but he died, tattooed on his chest, 'siempre familia.' Because again, what made Marty an awesome soldier, also made him our brother, our family member and an inspiration to us all," said brother Andy Barreras.

Family members said CSM Barreras was born in New Mexico but grew up in Tucson. He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1982 and joined the Marine Corps during his early military career.

In 1988, CSM Barreras enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as a Ranger for 22 years.

75th Ranger Regiment Colonel Christopher Vanek served with CMS Barreras during a deployment to Iraq in 2003, where he played a role in the rescue of Private First Class Jessica Lynch.

"We were completely unprepared to have to recover our U.S. soldiers' remains. Without hesitation, Marty volunteered for this extremely difficult and solemn duty," Colonel Vanek said.

CMS Barreras' brothers in combat and in blood hope that his sacrifice to his country is remember this Memorial Day.

"As you hang out flags and barbecue, as you kiss your kids goodnight, as you hug your wife and go about your business, say a prayer for these men. These warriors are still at work. There's a job to be done out there. We have one here who's fallen. We have a lot of them out there still," Andy Barreras said.

CMS Barreras is survived by his brothers, parents, wife and three children.

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