Gail Minglana Martinez, 41, the wife of Air Force Lt. Col. Kato Martinez has died from injuries sustained in the March 22 ISIS attack on the Brussels airport, announced Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) on Wednesday. Martinez was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. “My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family of Mrs. Martinez, whose life was tragically cut short by the ISIS terror attack in Brussels,” said Farenthold. “I ask that everyone offer their prayers and support to the Martinez family as they work through the pain and suffering that this horrific event has caused, and respect their privacy at this time.” Kato Martinez, who is assigned to NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in the Netherlands, and their four children are still in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained in the attack, according to the statement. Gail Martinez was one of four Americans killed in the attacks. At least a dozen other Americans were injured in the attacks, said State Department spokesman John Kirby on March 29. “In our battle against ISIS, we must focus on making sure innocent people are not harmed, while the strategy of ISIS is to kill innocent people. I call on President Obama to deliver a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, root out terror, and ensure that no other family will have to bear a similar tragedy,” Farenthold said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.