Remembrances: Larry Dunlap-Who's A Hero

Tom Brokaw, in his book, "The Greatest Generation", cites the heroism of the men and women who served in the military in WWII. I got to wondering, "What makes a hero?" The name, Jose Martinez, came to mind. Jose was a Spanish-American from one of the Southwest States, drafted out of high school when he turned 18. After taking basic training, he was assigned to the 89th Division, 353rd Regiment, F Company, Second Platoon, Second Squad, under the Squad leadership of S/Sgt. Stanley Pouch.

To my knowledge, Jose had no close friends, kept to himself, never got into any trouble, and followed orders as they were given. Jose died March 20, 1945 on 88 Hill (Lumber Hoh).

F Company was pinned down by artillery, machine gun, and sniper fire. The second platoon was on the edge of the tree line, facing an open area. We were ordered to move forward. (At that time, I was assistant squad leader of the first squad.) The second squad had already started to move when I saw that Jose was laying off to my right. I hollered at him to get moving, which he did. Jose was running about ten feet to my right, and slightly ahead of me, when he was hit by sniper fire. Jose died far from home and family doing his duty for his country. Was Jose Martinez a hero? I think so.