At least two Roswell families are mourning the loss of a military serviceman who passed away Christmas Eve.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Martinez, 28, passed away Saturday in Georgia.
The circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation, said his stepfather, Greg Etter.
Neither Greg Etter nor Martinez’s mother Sally Etter wanted to dwell on Martinez’s death. Instead, they spoke of his life — in particular, his desire to serve his country and his impact on family and friends.
“Christopher was a very loving, very gentle soul,” said Greg Etter. “He touched everyone … he made everyone laugh. At the time of his death he was thinking of other people, other than himself.”
Martinez joined the Air Force soon after graduating from Roswell High School in 2001, Etter said. That same year, he received basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Etter said Martinez was overseas for stretches of time, but often was not allowed to say exactly where he was, nor give details of the mission. Still, Etter said Martinez had been to Iraq, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom and Germany.
In the Air Force, Martinez started out maintaining equipment and had been promoted to a safety position, Etter said. During his everyday life, Martinez enjoyed playing baseball, hunting, fishing and skiing.
He was a family man — he had a wife Erika, and two daughters.
“He loved his family,” Etter said. “He loved his little girls with all his life. There’s nothing he would not have done for his little girls.
“He’s a very special person,” Etter added. “He’s going to be greatly missed.”