Jesse M. Martin
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Sgt. Jesse Michael Martin, USMC, a Marine who served his country with distinction, honor and commitment, died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 in Florence. He was 26.
Jesse grew up in Florence and graduated from Bradshaw High School in 2005. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2008 and received Boot Camp training at Parris Island, S.C. He served one tour in Afghanistan in the 2nd Anglico Unit. He returned home and married Morgan Strong. He was called for a second tour in Afghanistan where he was a forward observer working with the Nepalese Gurkhas, known as the fiercest fighters in the world. He taught them to read maps and call in artillery strikes and the handbook he wrote is still used by them. As a show of respect, the Gurkhas ceremoniously presented Jesse a Kukri, a forward curving knife used in combat.
Following his second tour he and Morgan lived in Camp Lejune, NC and they moved to Florence where he attended UNA. Jesse was an avid jet ski rider and had entered amateur competitions. He loved the outdoors, was a hunter, and a collector of guns.
Jesse was a great storyteller and was animated as he shared his tales. Friends and family knew not to interrupt until the story was told.
The visitation for family and friends will be Friday evening from 5-8 p.m. at Elkins Funeral Home, Florence. The service to celebrate his life will be Saturday at 2 p.m. in the funeral home chapel led by a friend Harrison Lanford. The family requests that close friends and Marine brothers who knew Jesse speak about him during the service. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Sheffield Oakwood Cemetery.
Jesse is survived by his wife Morgan Strong Martin; parents Jeff and Tammy Martin of Florence; parents-in-law Bill and Rachel Strong of Florence; grandparents Linda Bond, Sheffield, Geraldine Martin and Barbara Elliott of Muscle Shoals; aunts and uncles; and his sister-in-law Rita Strong, Harvest, Ala.
Pallbearers will be Harrison Lanford, Cpl. Tyler Elliott USMC, Daniel Hamm, Sgt. Joshua King, USMC, Paul Lehr, Will Corey, SPC. Daniel Martin, US Army, and GySgt. Matthew Jaroslawski, USMC. Honorary bearers will be Cpl. Brian Felber, USMC, and members of the 2nd Anglico Unit, USMC.
Elkins Funeral Home is honored to assist the family. You are invited to sign the on-line guest register at www.elkinsfuneral.com.
Published in Florence Times Daily on Nov. 7, 2013