National monument honors late FWC pilot Joe Martyna
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459; or
Katie Purcell, 850 459-6585
Two and half years ago, the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) tragically lost one of its
top pilots. Fellow employees, friends and family lost a companion,
husband, son and brother.
On Nov. 16, 2008, after returning from a search-and-rescue
mission, Lt. Joseph Martyna suffered a heart attack in his Boca
Raton home. In the final hours of his life, he was doing what he
loved: protecting and serving the public.
"He was available 24/7," said Capt. Kevin Vislocky, Martyna's
supervisor for 10 years. "He had no problem dropping whatever he
was doing to provide immediate response."
On Sunday, May 15, Martyna's name will be added to the National
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial walls in Washington, D.C. These
walls include the names of officers who have died in the line of
duty, exhibited commendable service and made sacrifices for the
safety and protection of others. Each year, an engraving ceremony
during National Police Week commemorates the officers.
Martyna's fellow FWC employees have ensured that he is not only
remembered, but honored to the utmost degree. Since his death, they
have been compiling information and organizing and submitting
applications for Martyna's name to be approved for addition to the
"No greater honor can be bestowed upon those who have made the
ultimate sacrifice than the addition of their names to the memorial
wall," said Capt. Denise Warrick, leader of the FWC's Honor
Martyna joined the Florida Marine Patrol, an FWC predecessor
agency, in 1987. Throughout his career of more than 20 years,
Martyna became known as a "pilot's pilot." He lived and
breathed flying for the FWC.
Martyna's wife, Pam, will attend the engraving-day ceremony with
the FWC's Honor Guard, and will receive the Medal of Valor on