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Japan-based Marine found dead in his home at MCAS Iwakuni

Then-Staff Sgt. Efrain Martinez, one of approximately 550 Marines who have the massive responsibility to shape more than 16,000 recruits who come to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego annually into basically trained United States Marines, Dec. 9, 2015. (Lance Cpl. Angelica Annastas/U.S. Marine Corps)
December 04, 2018

The Marine Corps is investigating an Iwakuni-based Marine’s sudden death last week, a spokesman for the service told Stars and Stripes on Monday.

Gunnery Sgt. Efrain Martinez Jr., 34, of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, died in his home on base Nov. 26, said Staff Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy of Marine Aircraft Group 12 at Iwakuni.

Martinez was a KC-130 mechanic who served two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined the Marines in 2002 and was a drill instructor from 2013 to 2016.

“VMGR-152 is deeply saddened by Gunnery Sgt. Martinez’ passing,” said Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, the commander of VMGR-152, in a statement Monday. “He was a Marines’ Marine, and his legacy will carry on for years to come. The entire squadron mourns his loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the multitude of Marines he has positively impacted throughout his career.”

A memorial service was held Wednesday in his honor.

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He is survived by his wife and four children.

Martinez’s decorations included a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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