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Friday, May 23 2014 04:57 PM

Local woman to sing National Anthem from Afghanistan

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    By 1st Lt. Skye Martin, 2007 Tehachapi High School graduate and 2011 United States Naval Academy graduate, will sing the National Anthem at the Padres/Cubs game in San Diego on Sunday, May 25 via satellite from Afghanistan. This photo is courtesy of Rep. Kevin McCarthy's office.

    1st Lt. Skye Martin, 2007 Tehachapi High School graduate and 2011 United States Naval Academy graduate, will sing the National Anthem at the Padres/Cubs game in San Diego on Sunday, May 25 via satellite from Afghanistan. This photo is courtesy of Rep. Kevin McCarthy's office.

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BY CHRISTINE BEDELL Californian city editor cbedell@bakersfield.com

A Tehachapi-area superstar -- at school, in the military and in the arts -- will sing the National Anthem at Sunday's San Diego Padres game via satellite from Afghanistan.

And from talking to her as-you-can-guess-incredibly-proud dad, it's just the latest in a series of high-profile gigs.

We're talking about 1st Lieutenant Skye Martin, a 2007 Tehachapi High School and 2011 U.S. Naval Academy graduate. Today she's a Marine Corps public affairs officer serving in Afghanistan with Regional Command Southwest at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province.

Martin is based out of Camp Pendleton.

She couldn't be reached to talk about Sunday's performance before the Padres take on the Chicago Cubs, and the Padres didn't return a call seeking more detail.

But her father, Cam Martin, a government relations officer for NASA who lives with his wife in Golden Hills, was able and more than willing to gush.

"She has been singing since she was in diapers," Martin said of his 24-year-old.

Skye has been crowned Kern County's most talented kid (2005) and a Tehachapi junior miss winner (2006), Cam Martin said. When she entered the U.S. Naval Academy, she not only sang in the glee club, she became its president.

She's ranked best among the pool of active duty service members out of Camp Pendleton who sing the National Anthem at events, according to a base spokesman.

That's not the end of it.

The Facebook page of the 1st Marine Logistics Group says Skye Martin "sang with her glee club for President Obama's inauguration in 2009, toured throughout Brazil, and sang for President George H.W. Bush in addition to several other tours and performances. Martin has also had the opportunity to be a solo national anthem singer for the Preakness Stakes in 2011."

An old Californian article says Skye Martin graduated from Tehachapi High with a 4.3 GPA while taking on three varsity sports.

In Afghanistan, she's a combat professional first and public affairs professional second, her father said.

"She's been deployed to Afghanistan since January," Cam Martin said. "She's escorted media in the field, going outside the barbed wire. And instead of carrying just a pistol on her hip in an office, she has an M4 rifle on her chest."

Service runs in the Martin blood. Skye's older brother, 28-year-old Scott Martin of San Diego, also graduated from the Naval Academy and is currently at sea flying Seahawk helicopters, Cam Martin said.

Last fall when Skye Martin was home on leave and the two were jogging around the neighborhood, he said, Skye asked him if he wanted to do push-ups in the driveway.

"I said I'd be content to watch her," Cam Martin recalled, adding she did 85.

"She looks like a debutante," he said. "It's just really deceptive."

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