Framingham father and son to be deployed to Iraq
By Norman Miller/Daily News staff
Tue May 27, 2008, 05:54 PM EDT

FRAMINGHAM - The last time Capt. David Martino was deployed to Iraq, he left his wife and three children.

This time, it will be different his son, Justin Martino, will be deployed to the Anbar Province.

They will leave the Bay State on Tuesday for three months of training in the Mojave Desert.

"I'm proud concerned but proud," said the elder Martino, 45. "It's going to be different. I'm also responsible for 45 Marines his age or a little older. There's a saying in the Marines: 'It's mission, then men.' The mission always comes first."

David Martino is a captain in the second battalion, 25th Marines in the First Marine Division, while his son is a Lance Corporal.

The elder Martino was serving his first deployment in Iraq, based in Fallujah, when his son told him he had enlisted.

"I was on a rooftop and I held up the phone and said, 'You hear that noise?' The background music was small arms fire," said David Martino. "I asked, 'You sure you want to do this?' "

Justin Martino, 20, a 2006 Framingham High School graduate, said his decision to join the Marines was not because of his father's tour of duty.

"A lot of people have asked me (why I joined the Marines) and I still haven't come up with an answer I like," he said. "There are a number of reasons."

David Martino, a Marine for 12 years, served in Fallujah in 2005 and 2006.

He said he has seen the change in Fallujah from just watching the news. Then, he said, it was a dangerous area, and now they have free elections.

"The Marines have been successful," Capt. Martino said. "I expect there to be less Marines there this time. I expect there to be less contact."

Justin Martino said his mother, Deborah, and his two sisters, Melissa, 23, and Regina, 13, are prepared for both he and his father leaving.

He also said he is prepared for his deployment, which will begin in September after the three months in the Mojave Desert.

"I'm pretty much mentally prepared to leave for awhile," he said. "I'm going to miss my little sister, Regina."

David Martino said he tries to share his experiences with his son as often as possible, but said there is one piece of advice he said that is most important.

"My best advice is to stay alert," he said. "Don't get complacent. Complacency leads to death."

(Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or