Veteran racing toward future of youth sports

May 08, 2017 | GET MORE : Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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40 years old and 40 days to train? Let's do it, said this Marine Corps veteran and U.S. Bank employee.

Forty-year-old Jeremy Martinez ran 26.2 miles right over the hill this year.

Martinez, a Marine Corps veteran and U.S. Bank mortgage loan officer, spontaneously signed up for last weekend's U.S. Bank OC Marathon the same day he and his wife found out they'd be having a fifth child. 

Martinez and his wife have 11, 10 and 5-year-old sons and a 2-year-old daughter. He said, despite coaching all of his sons in baseball, football and soccer, he’d been "slacking" on his own fitness since retiring from the Marines a year ago. 

"I saw running the marathon as the foundation for many more years of sports with my children," said Martinez.

Martinez wasn’t the only U.S. Banker running the May 7 races this year. As part of its sponsorship, the bank received 50 entry passes for the full, half or 5k race – all of which it gave to interested employees. 

Mortgage Loan Supervisor Susie Matta is on a weight-loss journey and ran to show her son, who is autistic, "that you can do anything you set your mind to." Investor Reporting Analyst Jasmina Koev walked the half to get a feel for what it may be like to make her bucket-list pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Call Center Personal Banker Karen Pilkington ran to raise money for nonprofits and honor her father, who survived lymphoma cancer. The bank also had hundreds of employees volunteering and cheering on runners throughout the course.

Martinez was a relatively fresh face in the group, having joined U.S. Bank as a mortgage loan officer in October 2016. He was drawn to the bank for the opportunity to specialize in loan programs that help veterans buy homes.

"There's no better job than continuing to serve veterans," he said, adding that he takes pride in telling the community about U.S. Bank's efforts to hire veterans

He can relate. Martinez spent over two decades in the Marines, having enlisted in 1995 out of desire to serve his country. Over that time, he served the United States all around the world. He traveled to 40 countries, from guarding embassies in the Ukraine to deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 

In 2012, Martinez moved into a recruiting role in Southern California so he could spend more time with his wife and their growing family. They were at the finish line cheering for him. 

"I’m 40 years old and when I signed up I had 40 days to get ready. I looked at some training guides online, and they basically said I was insane," he said. "I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I did this to get back into a healthy lifestyle for years to come with my children."

Pat Swanson is a member of U.S. Bank’s corporate communications team.