Martin W. Kondor always wanted to be a soldier, ever since his older brother, Trevor, served with the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division. His brother had enlisted while still a senior in high school, as the Desert Storm conflict was raging in Iraq. And like his brother, Martin was convinced he had to join the Army to defend our country after witnessing on television the tragic events of September 11, 2001. So, at age 18, while still a senior at Eastern York High school, he enlisted in the US Army.

After completing basic and advanced training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Martin was assigned to the First Infantry Division in Vilseck, Germany. He was with A Company, 1st Battalion, of the 63rd Armor Regiment.


In November of 2003, Martin volunteered for what was described as an extremely dangerous mission in Iraq. He underwent additional training and was attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team's Personal Security Detachment. Martin deployed to Iraq in early February of 2004 to serve as a personal bodyguard to the Brigade Commander at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in Baqubah, Iraq.

Martin was assigned the position of gunner on an armored Humvee and understood that he was to protect the Commander at any cost. He distinguished himself by his actions against the insurgents on four separate occasions, and his Captain later called him "a true warrior (whose) courage under fire sets an example for all of us to emulate."