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Mechanic’s baby girl changed his world

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Melvin “Macho” Martinez, 37, is the lead technician at Firestone in Harker Heights where he has worked for the past 10 years. He was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Union City, N.J., and currently lives in Killeen.

How did you get the nickname “Macho”?

I received the name because I was the first grandson born in my family.

What brought you to Killeen?

My wife’s family was stationed at Fort Hood, so we moved down here to be near them in 2004.

What do you like about Harker Heights?

I like that it is quiet and clean. The people in Harker Heights are beautiful.

If you could change one thing about Harker Heights, what would it be?

I would change the traffic situation, because every time we take a vehicle on a test drive it takes forever to get back.

Tell me about your family.

I am married to my wife of 15 years. I have a daughter, 17, and a son, 5.

What is your favorite thing to do?

My favorite thing to do is to work on cars. I work on cars at home as well as at work. I enjoy making sure cars run smoothly. I have been working on cars for 20 years.

What time in your life changed you the most?

The birth of my daughter changed me in many ways. I knew I had to be more responsible, positive and stronger for her. My daughter needs and needed a good role model.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

The best advice came from my mother ... to be a good father to my kids.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself owning my own auto shop in Florida or taking over the family business and running my wife’s family auto shop in Puerto Rico.

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