October 23, 2010 (Spring Valley) – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered flags in the state capitol flown at half-mast to honor Sergeant Rafael Martinez Jr., 36, of Spring Valley. Martinez was serving his third tour of duty when he was killed on October 14 by insurgents who attacked his unit in Afghanistan with an improvised explosive device. Two other soldiers, Sgt. Carlos A. Benitz and Pfc. Tremaine J. Billingsley, also died from the explosion.
“He served our country with honor, integrity and steadfast loyalty, and in the end he made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” the Governor said, extending condolences to the Martinez family. "Rafael will be remembered and honored forever in our hearts."