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Fallen Tucson Soldier may have served in historic rescue mission

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Fallen Tucson Soldier may have served in historic rescue mission

By Craig Smith. CREATED May 16, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Tucson soldier, Command Sergeant Major Martin Barreras, died this week from wounds suffered in Afghanistan.

Now we are hearing he may have been involved in one of the highest profile missions of the second war in Iraq.

Sergeant Major Barreras was a career Army Ranger.
     
Fox News is reporting he was among the Special Forces who rescued Army Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital, after her vehicle was attacked.
     
Barreras served in Panama, Haiti, and deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq.
    
We knew Sergeant Major Barreras had a distinguished career in some of the hottest of the world's hot spots. He achieved one of the Army's highest enlisted ranks.  The Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Legion of Merit are just part of a long list of medals.

But now we are hearing during the Iraq war he was part of an historic rescue mission.


As an Army Ranger, Command Sergeant Major Martin Barreras lived by the motto "Rangers lead the way".  They often work with other Special Forces.

Now Fox News is reporting that Sergeant Major Barreras was on the combined special operations force that rescued Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi Hospital.

She was captured after Iraqi forces attacked her vehicle and killed her fellow soldiers, including Arizonan Lori Piestewa of the Navajo tribe.
         
The Soldiers, SEALS and Airmen, strapped Lynch to a stretcher and threaded their way out of the hospital.

 And watched for trouble as they hustled her onto an aircraft to safety.
In a statement, Friday, Lynch conceded she never knew any of her rescuers, but she still paid tribute to the soldier who died eleven years later.
         
She said, in part: "Knowing that he not only risked his life to save mine, but that he has done so for countless others means Command Sergeant Major Barreras has a legacy that will live forever."

Sergeant Major Barreras graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1982.  He leaves behind his wife, two children, a grandchild, a brother and his parents.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press