|From The Times Union timesunion.com
An open letter from Sgt. Shawn P. Martin's widow
First published: Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I am writing this in memory of my husband, Sgt. Shawn P. Martin, USMC. I want people to know who Shawn was, and to remember him for the wonderful life that he lived.
Shawn was larger than life. He always had a smile on his face, he was forever ready to step in and help when he was needed, and he never sweated the small stuff. Shawn was a person who knew what it meant to live life. He knew his life was a gift, and he cherished every second that he had on this earth.
He and I met on May 1, 1999. From the very moment we met, we knew we were meant to be together. Shawn was, without a doubt, the love of my life. He went into the Marine Corps nine months after we met. He enlisted because he wanted to be able to provide a nice life for us. He knew the military would take care of us.
Shawn and I endured being apart so much of our relationship, but we were so strong even from a distance. He was deployed for seven months to Italy while I was planning our wedding, and then to Cuba just two weeks before our big day. Shawn was nothing if not determined, and he was going to be at our wedding no matter what. He came home three days before we got married. It was the happiest day of both of our lives.
He was the absolute best husband you could ever imagine. He loved me more than anything, and I know that I loved him as much as I love to breathe. We were everything to each other.
Shawn was determined to make good on his promise of providing a nice life for us. He worked so hard, and he did just that. Shawn and I had built a very nice life for ourselves. We had decided thus far not to have children, but we do have Brutus, our American Bulldog. Shawn loved Brutus as much as he would have loved a child, and I need to mention this just as another side of Shawn. Our life was wonderful.
In addition to being a fabulous husband, Shawn was also an amazing son, brother, and uncle. Shawn loved his family all of us. He knew he could talk to his parents about anything, and they were so incredibly proud of him. He loved his sister and always watched out for her, and he adored his niece and loved talking to her on the phone. He was also very close to my family, and he accepted them as his own kin. My brothers were his brothers, my parents were his parents, and my niece and nephew were his niece and nephew. Shawn had a heart big enough to hold his love for all the people in his life, and he got that love in return from all of us.
To say Shawn was a good friend is an understatement. He was a person who made friends for life, and looked out for them unconditionally. People who were friends with Shawn knew what true friendship felt like. He was truly extraordinary.
Shawn was also so incredibly intelligent. In order to do the job that he did in the Marine Corps, he had to go through a school that was seven months long and incredibly difficult. He retained all of the information from that school and continually impressed me when he would talk about his job. Shawn was an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Technician, and he loved every minute of it.
He was taken from us much too soon. He was only in Iraq for eight days when he was killed by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). We have to take some comfort in knowing that he died doing what he loved.
It takes a special kind of man to live the life that Shawn lived. I will be forever grateful that I was able to share that life with him. Shawn was a gift to me, and to everyone that he touched in his lifetime. I ask that you please remember him as the hero, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend that he was. Please always hold him in your hearts, and know that we will all see him again someday in the kingdom of Heaven.
By MARIANNE MARTIN