Martone was out in Prescott Valley on a windy Saturday setting up flags in preparation for Memorial Day. “This field is a field of flags,” Martone explained, “Three hundred and twenty-eight flags, each for a lost soldier from Arizona.”
Martone’s son, Gunnery Sgt. Justin Martone, died in Iraq in 2006. He was 31 years old.
Martone was joined by Jodi Smith, who lost her son, Lance Cpl. Jason E. Smith, 21, on New Year’s Eve, 2004.
Now, Martone and Smith join together to set up flags in order to ‘Honor and Remember’ not only their sons, but others that have died while serving their country. “The Honor and Remember flag is the most important to me,” Martone said. “It is one of the most important things in my life right now. Being able to honor and remember my son is very important to me.”
The American flags are joined by 19 purple flags and firemen’s boots representing the Granite Mountain Hotshots that died almost three years ago in Yarnell. Martone said that her youngest son works for the Forest Service, and her family personally knew some of the Hotshots.
At 2 PM on Memorial Day, there will be a service in Prescott Valley at the Civic Center to honor the sacrifices made in behalf of our communities and country. The public is welcome to attend.