‘Village’ looks after 3 Tampa Bay kids as parents work on the frontlines of pandemic

Heart of Tampa Bay

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – They say it takes a village to raise a child.

That’s exactly what’s happening for a family in Palm Harbor where both parents are serving our country on the front lines.

Christina Martinez works as a trauma nurse while serving as a lieutenant in the naval reserves, and Jose Martinez works as a captain in the National Guard.

While they’re gone, family members and neighbors have stepped in to help care for their three children.

For Natalia, Nathaniel and Nicholas Martinez, these last few months haven’t been easy, they miss their mom and dad.

“He cries at night that he misses them,” said Nathaniel, looking at his little brother, Nicholas.

The three siblings remember the day their parents left, bound for the front lines in the hardest hit areas in New York City and Miami-Dade. Both reservists were called up to serve our county.

“I think its really cool, and I’m thinking of being like our mom and dad, and I want to be just like them,” Nathaniel told 8 On Your Side. “They wanted us to behave and not cause mayhem in the house, pretty casual, and be extra good because they’ll be gone for a while.”

Tricia Kleinsorge is a close friend and neighbor who stepped in quickly to help.

“My heart, it skipped a beat, I was like oh my gosh, leaving your babies,” said Kleinsorge.

She also happens to be a parent and a nurse. “I was absolutely like, what do you want me to do, what do you need,” said Kleinsorge.

Tricia joins two grandmothers, an uncle, friends, and teachers to be a part of Team Martinez. “Anything they need, if they need something, I’m here,” Kleinsorgetold us.

As 8 On Your Side was talking to these three brave young ones, their mom surprised them with a FaceTime call, telling us just how proud she is.

“I love them, I’m so proud of my little warriors, cause that’s what they are,” said Lt. Christina Martinez. “They’re being brave, thoughtful of each other while mom and dad away, holding down the fort.”

She is expected to be back in the Bay Area soon, while her husband continues to serve in South Florida.

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