By BRIAN SMITH
Weatherford Little League held its inaugural Armed Forces Recognition Day Saturday.
League officials said they hope to make the event an annual affair. One of the highlights of the ceremony, which had a number of current and former military members being honored at Carmichael Field, was to honor a coach with the Jack Knight Community Service Award. The award is given to an active or past military member who has had an impact on the league.
The award was given to U.S. Marine MSGT Roger Martinez, who came to the area less than two years ago but who has made a major impact in his short time. Martinez, an active Marine for 20 years, has coached the WLL Major League Rangers this year.
Martinez is so proud of the uniform he represents that he wore it while coaching in the game immediately prior to the ceremony. He said he began coaching while stationed in Okinawa in 2003 and has done it ever since.
“Coaching is a passion for me,” Martinez said. “This (award) is something that’s very humbling to me.”
During the ceremony, one of Martinez’s players played “From the halls of Montezuma” on his trumpet in honor of his coach to the delight of his mentor. Martinez praised his team for the work they have done.
The Jack Knight award is named after the Garner native who was killed in World War II while in battle. For his heroics, which led to his death, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945. Knight’s sister, June Campbell, was on hand to thank Martinez for his service.