Earlier this morning I read this inspiring story about Lt. Col. Jaime Martinez, who recently completed treatment for a rare cancer. Lt. Col. Martinez will command The Old Guard, the Army’s oldest infantry regiment, during the inauguration festivities. He will be tasked with saluting the departing president and welcoming the new commander in chief Barack Obama, while commanding hundreds of soldiers through the throngs of people gathered to watch the ceremonies.
Martinez, 44, has been in the Army for 23 years and is an alum of Eastern Illinois University. He has been accustomed to being in high profile and hot spots, having recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan and on the personal staff of Dick Cheney and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
This man embodies what we can accomplish with education, dedication, and perseverance. The Army was so confident in Lt. Col. Martinez’s abilities that he was assigned to The Old Guard before his cancer treatment was completed. Aside from the ceremonial tasks, this regiment will provide security and medical care for the millions who are expected to gather on the Mall on Tuesday.
Photo Credit: Army Lt. Col. Jamie Martinez 01/16/09, AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari