U. S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Martin Escoto, born in Nicaragua, was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps from 2003 – 2008. Deployed to Iraq in 2004, his life changed dramatically in August, 2006. A grenade blast — a concussion — and still he ran to alert his camp of the attack. Then a bullet pierced his abdomen. A fellow soldier helped him to a Hum-V headed to Camp Fallujah for surgery. On the way to the hospital, Martin watched the Hum-V in front of his hit an IED and explode— killing everyone in the vehicle. Martin was brought to Germany, later transferred to Bethesda Naval Medical then to the Tampa VA, and after to Camp Pendleton’s Wounded Warrior Battalion for eight months. Afterwards, he was medically and honorably discharged with a Purple Heart.
Martin Escoto is a humble man, not comfortable being seen as a hero. “So many others have lost so much more,” he said.
When the Aventura Marketing Council (AMC) partnered with the Dania Beach Design District on their multi-community “Military Room Makeover” project, the VA nominated Martin to receive the Council’s room makeover. Nine Miami-Dade and Broward organizations each selected a veteran and designer to donate their talents and resources to the project.
Designer Dalia Berlin, Berlin Designs, was selected by the AMC to create the room makeover for their honored veteran. “Who better than Dalia to represent the AMC on this outstanding project for the military!” said president Elaine Adler.
Dalia recently completed extensive interior work for Martin’s older home that he lives in with his mother and sisters. Dalia’s room makeover included painting, installing new crown and base moldings, window sills, doors, lighting, hardware and draperies.
Developer/Architect Fernando Levy Hara of mckafka Development Group generously provided beautiful model furnishings and accessories. AMC member and iReachAmerica Foundation CEO Peter Caspari brought in Steve Costa, Suddath United Van Lines, to donate the transportation of the furniture from Levy Hara’s Fort Lauderdale showroom to Martin’s home. Caspari also coordinated Broward Sherriff Officers to escort the Suddath truck and a military vehicle. Janette Chandler, Family Readiness Support Ass’t. for the US Army, invited US Army and US Navy officers to help move the furniture into the Escoto home. Both TV channels 10 and 7 were there to capture an emotional ceremony.
“It’s truly been a heartwarming and remarkable team effort for an individual who is so deserving,” said Dalia. We are so fortunate to be able to give from the heart!”
For information on the Aventura Marketing Council, visit aventuramarketingcouncil.com or call 305.932.5334