World

Texas woman among dead in Brussels attack; husband and 4 kids hospitalized

Gail Maartinez (Photo: Facebook)

Gail Maartinez (Photo: Facebook)

Growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas, Gail Minglana Martinez impressed others with her vivacious personality and hearty laugh.

Her life took on all kinds of adventures when, as the wife of an Air Force lieutenant colonel, she traveled around the world.

But it all came to an end for the 41-year-old mother of four in the Brussels terrorist attacks, which killed Martinez and more than 30 others.

The announcement about her death came from U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold on Wednesday.

The congressman said he had spoken to her brother.

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Suicide bombers killed 32 people on March 22 at Brussels' airport and in a subway station near the European Union headquarters. Dozens of people remain hospitalized, among them Martinez's husband, Lt. Col. Kato Martinez, and their four children.

Kato Martinez serves as a military assistant to the commander at NATO's Joint Force Command in the Netherlands. The publication Stars and Stripes said the family was at the airport in Brussels at the time of the attack.

Gail Martinez grew up in Corpus Christi, a city on the Gulf of Mexico southwest of Houston. She graduated from a local high school in 1992.

"She was a fireball," said David Hiser, who was Martinez's choir teacher in middle and high school. "Huge laugh. I just remember her personality and what an amazing kid she was."

After graduation, she and her husband moved around the world with their children, according to their online social media postings and Kato Martinez's LinkedIn page.

Gail Martinez's family said in a statement Tuesday that family members had spoken to Kato Martinez, but declined to comment on what they had been told about the family's condition.

"Gail was special to so many people," the statement says. "She blessed people's lives and made this world a better place."

Her Facebook page features an image with a line from a poem by the author J.R.R. Tolkien: "Not all those who wander are lost."

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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