Dispatching holiday greetings

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “When I don’t hear from him for a while I get a bad feeling in my stomach,” Lozano said. “I’ll be so happy when he’s home, when we know he’s safe.” Lozano, who works full time as a dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and volunteers as a reserve officer, met Martinez at a Valencia restaurant when he was in town for some R&R. They clicked. Her friends see a couple in the making; she sees another friend, one who needs all the support he can get in his chosen career. Eager to let Martinez know she’s thinking of him during the holidays, Lozano is sending a live postcard to her friend via the Daily News GI Greetings program, which guides people in making videos for loved ones in the war zone and posts them on the newspaper’s Web site for the recipients and others to enjoy. “I hope this uplifts your spirits,” she says, beaming a bright smile into the small video camera. “I know your family misses you dearly, but this will be over in February.” Standing before the Christmas tree in her Stevenson Ranch home, she told Martinez he is “truly blessed” to have little Hailey safe at home and reminded him he’d see his infant daughter early next year when he takes leave. He was there for two weeks when she was born. And Lozano ended her message with a friendly kiss. STEVENSON RANCH – Elisa Lozano, a police dispatcher and reserve cop, shares a deep friendship with Army Staff Sgt. Raymond Martinez, serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. There’s no romance, Lozano insists. Their relationship transcends that. It’s about caring for one another, fearing the danger the other faces on duty – he leading his men on missions through the streets of Iraq, she working more than her assigned 20 hours a month as a reserve officer for the San Fernando Police Department. And they share the bond that single parents know. The mother of a 6-year-old boy, Lozano helped Martinez handle the thousands of miles that separate him from his 4-month-old daughter back home in North Carolina. Martinez, 31, a native of New Mexico, is with the 82nd Airborne Division, in charge of a crew of young men whose safety he takes to heart. “He got a card from a mom of a 19-year-old under his command,” Lozano said. “She said her son talked about him all the time. (Martinez) said ‘It touched me so much.’ “He said his goal is `to bring all my men home.”‘ Martinez enlisted at age 20 and recently re-enlisted. “It’s what he wants to do,” Lozano said. “The people he’s met there, it’s rewarding for him. It can be hard. Sometimes you’re trying to protect people and they throw things at you. He said sometimes he asks himself, ‘Why am I here?’ But he’s really proud to serve his country.” Lozano says she worries about Martinez, especially when he’s on a special mission and she doesn’t hear from him for weeks at a time. That’s the case now and it saddens her she won’t be able to talk with her friend on Christmas. And she finds it ironic that he worries about her, too. Trained as a police officer, she works as a reserve, an unpaid post, but no less dangerous. “It’s like I have a big brother,” she said. “He worries about me … I worry about him.” — Patricia Farrell Aidem, (661) 257-5251 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img