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Faces of Fort Cavazos: Spc. Jonathan Martinez

Faces of Fort Cavazos: Spc Jonathan Martinez
Posted at 6:06 PM, Nov 15, 2023

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — Millions of Americans are planning to spend Thanksgiving with family but that isn’t always an option for our service members.

Some of them work to make sure they at least get a good meal.

Army Specialist Jonathan Martinez is a cook at the 3rd Cavalry Regiment’s Theodore Rosevelt Warrior Restaurant on Fort Cavazos.

His story begins with a big family in South Central, Los Angeles.

”Having most of my family there really helps a lot,” said Spc. Martinez. “From one city to another, like 10-20 minutes, I'm at an uncle's house. 30 minutes, I'm at my aunt's house. It's a really great place, super close to everything, it’s amazing, I love LA.”

He chose to leave the home he loves for a life in the United States Army.

”The second I turned 18, I tried looking for jobs, I got jobs, I bounced around like 3 or 4 jobs, it just never really worked out,” said Spc. Martinez. “So, I decided Army it is because my friend always told me about it.”

Now he is a 92 Golf, a cook, and he is spending his 3rd Thanksgiving preparing a feast for soldiers stuck on post for the holiday.

It's a mission that makes his long shift in the kitchen just a little easier.

”The past 2 Thanksgivings, I've been here a little later in the morning and I see everybody sitting down, enjoying the food, talking, just being with one another, and that does help,” said Spc. Martinez.

Those who work with him say they couldn’t ask for a better battle buddy to spend thanksgiving in the kitchen with.

”Very high spirited, very motivated basically,” said SSG Darryl Thorton, 3rd Cavalry Regiment. “Like I said, he puts smiles on people's faces. He puts a smile on my face every day.”

He does work a job that sometimes lacks appreciation.

So, he has a request for anyone coming to eat the food he spent so long cooking for them.

”Just small things you know, a thank you,” said Spc. Martinez. “When someone serves you, a small thing like hey, how you doing and then they get their food and say thank you. Have a nice day. Small things like that go a long way.”

Specialist Jonathan Martinez is one of so many soldiers unable to go home for the holidays but, he is happy he gets to make sure his fellow heroes get a good meal if they come to the Theodore Rosevelt Warrior Restaurant for Thanksgiving.