The community is celebrating what would have been Martin Lee Anderson’s 30th Birthday


PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Many gathered to celebrate the life of Martin Lee Anderson Sunday on what would have been his 30th birthday.

“It’s not a good feeling standing over your son, you know, your son should be standing over you,” said Martin Lee Anderson’s mother, Gina Williams.

Williams said it has taken time to have strength once again, knowing her son is dead.

“As the mother, you know, the pain doesn’t go away but strength does grow,” said Williams.

Anderson was just 14 when he lost his life back in 2006. He was at the Bay County Sheriff’s Juvenile Boot camp, which has been shut down, where he was told to run a mile. 

While he was running, he altered drill officers that he was feeling fatigued and could not go on. But Anderson’s family said those drill officers continued to force him. He had collapsed and was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

“Love courage and strength,” said Anderson’s mother.

Williams said that is what her and her family have had to find daily since his death in 2006.

But Sunday they gathered to celebrate what would have been his 30th birthday.

“Holidays are not the same without your loved ones,” she said.

Remembering Anderson and the life he left behind. 

“How truly grateful we are for the life and the legacy of Martin, how grateful we are for the years that you gave him to be with us,” said Reverend Dr. Rufus Wood Jr.

Anderson’s family wants all to remember him and his name.

“Just keep my son on the list alive just like everyone else,” said Williams.

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