YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier was killed Sunday in Iraq, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday, bringing the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s total number of deaths to at least 52 since the unit’s deployment began early last fall.

Spc. Francisco G. Martinez, of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, was killed by enemy small arms fire in Tamin, according to a Defense Department news release. The battalion, with the rest of the brigade, deployed from South Korea to the Middle East in late August.

Tamin is a district on the outskirts of Ramadi, the volatile Sunni-dominated city that has been a center of the insurgency in recent months. Tamin was where the first joint patrols between Iraqi and American 2nd ID soldiers were undertaken in the weeks leading to the January elections.

The town generally has been more friendly than downtown Ramadi, where streets often empty when U.S. and Iraqi soldiers arrive for patrols. In Tamin, patrols routinely were greeted by large crowds of children and adults encouraging the soldiers.

Martinez, 20, was from Fort Worth, Texas. According to the Fort Worth Telegram and the Associated Press, he was shot in the hip and died en route to a military medical facility.

In e-mails shared by family members, Martinez wrote of his views of the war in Iraq. “I will serve myself, my family, my friends and my loved ones. I won’t serve my country, nor will I serve its leaders. I will not serve your comfort, nor will I serve your luxury,” he wrote in one e-mail, according to the Associated Press.

“I am going to fight for MY life, and MY way of life. Every man on the line is fighting for what is right … themselves and their families.”

According to family members, Martinez dreamed of a career in graphic design. His father was in the Army, but the younger Martinez had long told family members he did not plan on joining. Shortly after his 17th birthday, family members said, he changed his mind and enlisted.

Martinez’s father, Francisco Tomas Martinez, was on a business trip when his wife called and said there was a man in uniform at the family’s home Sunday night. The elder Martinez told reporters he asked his wife if the man was in a dress uniform; when she replied the man was, his heart sank.

“It would be easy for me to take potshots at the government in the rage that at times I swing into because of the loss but I really am making an effort to send a constructive message,” the father told the Associated Press.

“For my son and so many others, I would like for people to talk about the future cost. Was that the best use of our youth?”

Family members said Spc. Martinez had come home earlier in the year for his two-week leave and announced plans to marry his girlfriend when his tour of duty was finished.

“He was clear in his sense of duty,” Martinez’s father told reporters. “Never did he express he was unwilling or that what they were doing was wrong. I think he believed in the mission that he was trying to do: doing good for the Iraqi people.”

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