Monday, May 19, 2008

California Bondsman Honored

Bail Bondsmen have a rough and tumble image, but not so Freddie Martinez.

The owner of a bail bonds agency in Fontana and a Vietnam veteran, Martinez is a soft-hearted and steadfast supporter of programs for the homeless, youth and veterans and their families.

As a veteran and business owner, Martinez has sponsored activities for high school youth and patients at the Jerry Pettis Veterans Hospital.

Other organizations he supports are San Bernardino Mission and Mary's Table.

Nominated by Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto), Martinez was recently honored as 62nd Assembly District Veteran of the Year at a luncheon at the State Capitol.

“Freddie Martinez was recognized as Veteran of the Year for his many years of contributions,” Carter said. “His activities, which promote the well being of youth, veterans and the homeless, make him an ideal honoree for this award.”

Martinez said his adult son, David, who is blind, mentally disabled and confined to bed, compels him to give to handicapped children and to associate his bail bonds business with social service organizations outside of the world of law enforcement as well as within.

Martinez, who served as a state corrections officer and Redlands police officer, served in the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968. He completed one tour of duty in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry, 1st of the 5th Mechanized Unit. He was selected for the Purple Heart, received the Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, and an honorable discharge.

Martinez, a member of VFW 8737, was one of five veterans receiving special honors at a reception for military veterans hosted by Carter on May 15.

Besides Martinez, the special honorees include Fontana's Joe Dean, who served in the Army and is American Legion Post 772 commander.

Martinez, who comes from a long line of military veterans, said he is proud to receive an honor for his passion -- serving his country.

“I went in for God and country. That's what it's all about. The military shows you the purpose of achievement. It makes you love the red, white and blue, and that's what you are true to,” Martinez said.

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