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Honor for Marine Casualty Advances

California

July 10, 2003|Hilda Munoz | Times Staff Writer

The House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill Tuesday proposing to name a post office in Duarte for a Marine killed in Iraq two weeks before he was to receive U.S. citizenship.

Rep. Hilda Solis (D-El Monte) introduced the bill last month asking that a post office on Highland Avenue be named after Lance Cpl. Francisco A. Martinez Flores.

Flores, 21, died March 25 when his tank plunged into the Euphrates River near Nasiriyah, Iraq. He had been deployed in January.

"Finally, we are giving recognition to the individuals, such as Francisco Martinez Flores ... who signed up to fight for his county and will now have some recognition in the community for all to see," Solis said.

"I think it sets a great standard. In the past, we didn't do this for vets who came back from Vietnam."

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Flores' family immigrated to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico, when he was 3. He joined the military soon after he graduated from Duarte High School in 2000.

His mother, Martha Martinez, said he was two weeks away from gaining U.S. citizenship when he was killed. He received citizenship posthumously

"I'm proud that my son's name will not be forgotten," she said.

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