Mother of Tucson soldier killed in Afghanistan speaks to Fox 11

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Maria, mother of the Army ranger and Tucson High School grad who recently died fighting for our country in Afghanistan, spoke to Fox 11 about her son Martin Lugo.

It's the first time she's spoken to the media about her son. Martin, she said, was amazing.

There are some people who just know, at a young age, what is their purpose in life.

"His calling came early," said Maria Marin.

Maria said her son, Martin Lugo, was one of those people, "He would play guns and strategize in the backyard and dump trucks and garbage cans and he'd have a bible and he'd take it with him."

Everyone in the family knew Martin would become a soldier. Of course, it helped that he told them he would.

Maria Marin recalls Martin's desire to fly helicopters.  "He says, 'One day, Mommy, I'm gonna be an Army boy and I'm gonna fly that Black Hawk,' and I said, 'What black hawk?' 'This one!'," said Maria.  "And, that was his favorite shirt."

A photo of Martin wearing his favorite shirt and playing with his dump truck is one of many picture perfect moments Maria will never forget. She could tell a million stories about Martin.

"[He] just had a natural curiosity about everything," said Maria.

She said he was funny and fearless, "I taught him to be tough.  You can have a broken heart and keep moving."

Hardworking, helpful. "He had a thirst for knowledge and fairness," added Maria.

Passionate, personable.  "[He] loved his job, loved his ranger family," said Maria.

"I don't think words have been invented to really describe how proud I am of his commitment to our nation," Maria continued.

According to the U.S. Army, Martin died from wounds he suffered during a fierce firefight in Logar province in Afghanistan. He was on his sixth combat deployment.

Maria spoke to her son a few days prior to his death, "He was my friend and he was always so optimistic, so he leaves a void behind."

Which is tough; yet, Maria tries not to wonder why her son died, or why he died so young, "I have a lot of faith in God, so I know one day there will be clarity."

Until that day, Maria Marin will take each day one breath at a time.  "I have a lot of memories to reflect on," said Maria.

Memorial services for Sgt. Lugo begin Friday.  A visitation will be held from 4 to 9 P.M. Friday at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on Campbell near speedway.

The funeral will also be held at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Saturday at 11:30 A.M., followed by interment, which will be at Holy Hope Cemetery.

Meanwhile, members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas plan to picket Lugo's funeral.

These are people who believe U.S. combat deaths are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.