It’s 13:00 hours as you enter a small French village. The cool Fall air smells crisp as you breathe in only to then smell a waft of gunpowder pierce the peaceful plain. You and your company have just walked into a clearing with a group of German soldiers, who dawn the Nazi symbols of the Third Reich on their uniforms, on the other side.
You look and amid the chaos that is about to ensue, you notice a small French boy pointing at you… almost as if he is giving a haunting warning. Then, the gunfire begins.
You dive into a thicket of briars with thorns the size of tiny daggers. Next to you is your company member, breathing heavily from the sudden burst of adrenaline. Soon the booming of concussion grenades being lobbed in your direction takes your breath away with each explosion… you make a break for it.
As you run, bullets fly past you until one hits its mark. You look down and see that you’ve been hit; you lie down in a deep grove carved into the earth… and you wait to be captured.
This may sound like the beginning of the next big summer blockbuster, but for the late Frank Martin, this was his afternoon on September 13th, 1945.
Frank was a Marietta native, and after three months in a German POW camp, he would return to the states to continue his service during World War II.
Alongside Frank, his brothers Glenn and Thomas also served in various capacities in the United States Military. Frank and Glenn served in the Army, while Thomas enlisted in the Navy at 17 years-old.
The Martin family men were not the only members to serve their country dutifully during the war. Peg Martin, the wife of Frank, survived an office bombing while stationed in Paris, France and 12 hours in a hurricane while aboard a French transport ship heading for the states.
Peg would later become the first woman in the area to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Memories of the three brothers serving together in WWII prompted their extended families, and loved ones, to create this fund to assist low-income veterans residing in Washington County and the surrounding area.
Another fund at the Foundation, the Chavez Fund for Veterans, also offers opportunities for local veterans and military families. Whereas the previous fund focuses on immediate needs, the Chavez Fund can help provide resources for various situations including experiences for local military families, professional attire for veterans who have job interviews, etc.
Local veterans who need assistance can work with several local organizations to apply, on their behalf, to the Martin Family Veteran Fund or the Chavez Fund for Veterans. Veterans must reside in the local area and have an honorable discharge.
The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service, and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.
Marietta Community Foundation works to improve Washington County through grants and initiatives, if you feel inspired to support our local veterans in need, please call Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.