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DELMAR: Soldier killed in Iraq

Flags at the Elsmere Fire Department and outside Bethlehem Town Hall were flown at half-staff in honor of Martin.

"From the town's standpoint, this is another tragic loss of an American life in Iraq," said Supervisor Jack Cunningham.

In a written statement, the Martin family expressed the devastation of the loss and thanked their community for supporting them during their difficult time.

"It is impossible to describe the depth of our pain or the full measure of our loss. However, the outpouring of love and kind gestures we have received has been overwhelming. We have never before experienced the magnitude of the bond that makes this community so special," they wrote.

Martin is the third Bethlehem native who has been killed in Iraq. Timothy Moshier, 25, was killed in April 2006 when he was shot down piloting an Apache Helicopter in southwest Baghdad. Sgt. Thomas Robbins, a 1994 Bethlehem High School graduate, was killed in Iraq in 2004 near Mosul when a mortar exploded.

More than 3,500 soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began, and up to 70 died in June alone. Martin is survived by his wife, Marianne Thomes, his parents, Paul and Dawn Martin, and a sister, Nicolle, who reside in Delmar.

Calling hours are scheduled for Wednesday, June 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Delmar. The funeral is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle. Arrangements are from the Keenan Funeral Home in Albany.

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