El Paso County’s Veterans Service Office announces Leo F. Martinez is the recipient of the inaugural Veteran of the Year honor.
“The idea of Veteran of the Year can be credited to former El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark,” said Carl McDaniel, El Paso County’s Veterans Services Officer. “She suggested that we look for a way to honor veterans in the El Paso County community. With that and the backing of the current County Commissioners the Veteran Service Office developed the award’s criteria that would guide the selection process to identify a deserving veteran as El Paso County’s Veteran of the Year.”
Martinez was born and raised in Springer, New Mexico. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from Springer High School. He earned degrees from Saint Martin’s College (Olympia, WA) and Regis University (Colorado Springs). His military career took him to Korea, Fort Lewis (WA), Germany and Fort Carson. He retired from in the U.S. Army after a distinguished career of 21 years and 10 months, 1970 to 1993. He served as an Infantry Senior Sergeant, an Administrative Specialist and a Command Sergeant Major.
Martinez recently retired as a peer mentor for the Fourth Judicial District’s highly successful Veterans Trauma Court. He recruited, trained and supervised other veterans to act as mentors and provide one-on-one support for individuals going through the Veterans Court.
McDaniel said, “One of the community participants in the selection summed it up best, ‘While Leo Martinez’s work is focused on only one program—Veterans Trauma Court—based on all the testimonials, he has made a difference in the lives of many veterans who have gone through the court.’”
District Attorney Dan May said, “Much of the success of the Veterans Trauma Court is due to the commitment of Leo Martinez to the Veterans of this community. Leo is truly devoted to helping each and every Veteran he works with to ensure they are successful in their lives. If I could clone Leo we would have success in every problem solving court.”
As one of the nominations stated, “I have watched him change lives and save lives.”
The Veteran of the Year ceremony is 12 to 1 p.m., on Thursday, Oct. 12, at the El Paso County Veterans Monument in Bear Creek Regional Park, 2002 Creek Crossing, Colorado Springs. It’s next to the Community Services Department office building, one block east of 21st Street off of W. Rio Grande Street.
Veterans Services Office offers a sincere thank you to the 2017 event sponsors, The Broadmoor and Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.
Contact Jennifer Clark for more information about the Veteran of the Year and the ceremony at, (719) 520-7750 or email at JenniferClark@ElPasoCo.com
We believe our veterans deserve our support and recognition for their exemplary military service, outstanding community service and endless encouragement to other local veterans. El Paso County will honor one veteran annually, for his or her efforts defending our country and continued willingness to serve their neighbors and community as Veteran of the Year.