BALTIMORE (WJZ) – A funeral was held Friday for the Maryland sailor killed on the USS Fitzgerald last month.
Friends and family came together to honor local hero Xavier Martin, who made the ultimate sacrifice. He was among the seven sailors killed aboard a navy destroyer when it collided with a cargo ship off the coast of japan in June.
The cause of the USS Fitzgerald crash remains under investigation.
It was an overwhelming show of support for Martin. A young hero remembered for his commitment to our country and his loved ones.
“What they do allows us the freedoms we take for granted every day,” said American Red Cross regional director Antoinette Williams. “Xavier is a hero.”
An outpouring of support from service members, loved ones, and those touched by Martin’s sacrifice.
“It shows there are people out there that really do care,” said Bill Johnston, with Patriot Guard Riders. “America cares about what they did and they’re not forgotten.”
“He put on that uniform and raised his hand to defend this country, and it’s an honor for me and my husband to be here as parents who lost a child serving in the military,” said Janice Chance, with the Gold Star Mothers, Maryland Chapter.
Martin was the youngest petty officer with a rank of first class aboard the USS Fitzgerald. He joined the Navy to follow in his father’s footsteps.
WJZ spoke to Martin’s father moments after he heard the tragic news.
“Very hard, my only child, all I have,” said Darrold Martin. “Can’t put it into words, just a beautiful child.”
Raised by his single father since the age of 10, Martin graduated from Lansdowne High School in 2010.
“Emulated the values his dad raised him with,” Williams said.
Beyond his service, Martin was known for his warm heart.
“Personality, where he lights up the entire room,” said US Army Lt. Col Stephen Vile. “His smile, always smiling with a bubbly personality.”
A young sailor remembered for his selfless sacrifice and celebrated for the love he shared.
Martin will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery August 9.