Tech. Sergeant Manuel J. Martinez a native of Espanola, N.M., and graduated from McCurdy High School in 1999. In July 1999, Martinez enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and reported for training at Fort Meade, Md. Following technical training Martinez reported to the 321st Communications Squadron, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls, Mont., as a military photographer.
In 2001, Martinez was assigned to 347th Communications Squadron, at Moody Air Force Base, in Valdosta, Ga.and deployed in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, Martinez covered humanitarian missions and rescue operations following Hurricane Katrina. In 2007 Martinez was assigned to Charleston Air Force Base, in Charleston, S.C., to be part of 1st Combat Camera Squadron where he deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Martinez’s awards include the Air Force Commendation medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation medal and the Air Force Achievement medal with two oak leaf clusters.