Japan-Based Marine Found Dead in his Home at MCAS Iwakuni

Gunnery Sgt. Efrain Martinez Jr., 34, of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, died suddenly at his home at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Nov. 26, 2018. The death is under investigation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Angelica Annastas)
Gunnery Sgt. Efrain Martinez Jr., 34, of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, died suddenly at his home at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Nov. 26, 2018. The death is under investigation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Angelica Annastas)

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- The Marine Corps is investigating an Iwakuni-based Marine's sudden death last week, a spokesman for the service told Stars and Stripes on Monday.

Gunnery Sgt. Efrain Martinez Jr., 34, of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, died in his home on base Nov. 26, said Staff Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy of Marine Aircraft Group 12 at Iwakuni.

Martinez was a KC-130 mechanic who served two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined the Marines in 2002 and was a drill instructor from 2013 to 2016.

"VMGR-152 is deeply saddened by Gunnery Sgt. Martinez' passing," said Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, the commander of VMGR-152, in a statement Monday. "He was a Marines' Marine, and his legacy will carry on for years to come. The entire squadron mourns his loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the multitude of Marines he has positively impacted throughout his career."

A memorial service was held Wednesday in his honor.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

Martinez's decorations included a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

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