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  • Another Act Of Heroism

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(May 6, 2004) -- Marine Pfc. Joseph B. Perez received the Navy Cross Medal from the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, during an awards ceremony Thursday at Marine Corps Air-Ground Training Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

    Perez, 23, a Houston, Texas, native, received the naval service's second highest award for extraordinary heroism while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom April 4, 2003. The Medal of Honor is the highest military award.

    Three other Marines received medals for valor at the same ceremony.

    "They are the reflection of the Marine Corps type who's service to the Marine Corps and country is held above their own safety and lives," said Gen. Hagee, commenting on the four Marines who received medals during the ceremony. "I'm proud to be here awarding the second highest and third highest awards for bravery to these great Marines."

    "These four Marines are a reflection of every Marine and sailor in this great battalion," said Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada.

    1st Platoon came under intense enemy fire while clearing near Route 6 during the advance into Baghdad. Perez, the point man for the lead squad, and therefore the most exposed member of the platoon, came under the majority of these fires.

    Without hesitation, he continuously fired his M16A4 rifle to destroy the enemy while calmly directing accurate fires for his squad. He led the charge down a trench destroying the enemy and while closing and under tremendous enemy fire, threw a grenade into a trench that the enemy was occupying.
    While under a heavy volume of fire, Perez fired an AT-4 rocket into a machine gun bunker, completely destroying it and killing four enemy personnel. His actions enabled the squad to maneuver safely to the enemy position and seize it.

    In an effort to link up with 3rd Platoon on his platoon's left flank, Perez continued to destroy enemy combatants with precision rifle fire. As he worked his way to the left, he was hit by enemy fire, sustaining gunshot wounds to his torso and shoulder.
    Despite being seriously injured, Perez directed the squad to take cover and gave the squad accurate fire direction to the enemy that enabled the squad to reorganize and destroy the enemy.

    "It is unreal, it is not what I expected, it is unbelievable," Perez said. "This is real weird for me, because, I am not big on special events," said Perez.

    In effect since April 1917, and established by an Act of Congress on Feb. 4, 1919, the Navy Cross may be awarded to any person who, while serving with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguishes himself/herself in action by extraordinary heroism not justifying an award of the Medal of Honor.

    The action must take place under one of three circumstances: while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party. To earn a Navy Cross the act to be commended must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be performed in such a manner as to render the individual highly conspicuous among others of equal grade, rate, experience, or position of responsibility.

    More than 6,000 Navy Crosses have been awarded since World War I.

    http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn20...1?OpenDocument

  • #2
    Another congratulations! Way to go Marines!! :thumb:
    http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Another Act Of Heroism

      Originally posted by Marines
      MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.(May 6, 2004) -- Marine Pfc. Joseph B. Perez received the Navy Cross Medal from the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, during an awards ceremony Thursday at Marine Corps Air-Ground Training Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

      Perez, 23, a Houston, Texas, native, received the naval service's second highest award for extraordinary heroism while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom April 4, 2003. The Medal of Honor is the highest military award.

      Three other Marines received medals for valor at the same ceremony.

      "They are the reflection of the Marine Corps type who's service to the Marine Corps and country is held above their own safety and lives," said Gen. Hagee, commenting on the four Marines who received medals during the ceremony. "I'm proud to be here awarding the second highest and third highest awards for bravery to these great Marines."

      "These four Marines are a reflection of every Marine and sailor in this great battalion," said Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada.

      1st Platoon came under intense enemy fire while clearing near Route 6 during the advance into Baghdad. Perez, the point man for the lead squad, and therefore the most exposed member of the platoon, came under the majority of these fires.

      Without hesitation, he continuously fired his M16A4 rifle to destroy the enemy while calmly directing accurate fires for his squad. He led the charge down a trench destroying the enemy and while closing and under tremendous enemy fire, threw a grenade into a trench that the enemy was occupying.
      While under a heavy volume of fire, Perez fired an AT-4 rocket into a machine gun bunker, completely destroying it and killing four enemy personnel. His actions enabled the squad to maneuver safely to the enemy position and seize it.

      In an effort to link up with 3rd Platoon on his platoon's left flank, Perez continued to destroy enemy combatants with precision rifle fire. As he worked his way to the left, he was hit by enemy fire, sustaining gunshot wounds to his torso and shoulder.
      Despite being seriously injured, Perez directed the squad to take cover and gave the squad accurate fire direction to the enemy that enabled the squad to reorganize and destroy the enemy.

      "It is unreal, it is not what I expected, it is unbelievable," Perez said. "This is real weird for me, because, I am not big on special events," said Perez.

      In effect since April 1917, and established by an Act of Congress on Feb. 4, 1919, the Navy Cross may be awarded to any person who, while serving with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguishes himself/herself in action by extraordinary heroism not justifying an award of the Medal of Honor.

      The action must take place under one of three circumstances: while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or, while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party. To earn a Navy Cross the act to be commended must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk and must be performed in such a manner as to render the individual highly conspicuous among others of equal grade, rate, experience, or position of responsibility.

      More than 6,000 Navy Crosses have been awarded since World War I.

      http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn20...1?OpenDocument
      yeah, just shows what may be accomplished, with the help of God, and a few Marines.
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's to ya. It sounds like the PFC was basically running the squad. That's initiative.
        "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
        "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

        Comment


        • #5
          This one came through my work e-mail today:

          ANOTHER ITEM THAT DIDN'T MAKE THE EVENING NEWS

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~
          May 07 Lonsberry Column



          Maybe you'd like to hear about something other than idiot Reservists and naked Iraqis.

          Maybe you'd like to hear about a real American, somebody who honored the uniform he wears. Meet Brian Chontosh. Churchville-Chili Central School class of 1991. Proud graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband and about-to-be father. First lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. And a genuine hero.

          The secretary of the Navy said so yesterday. At 29 Palms in California Brian Chontosh was presented with the Navy Cross, the second highest award for combat bravery the United States can bestow.

          That's a big deal.

          But you won't see it on the network news tonight, and all you read in Brian's hometown newspaper was two paragraphs of nothing. Instead, it was more blather about some mental defective MPs who acted like animals.

          The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it's not covering the American military. The most plugged-in nation in the world is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are doing. Oh, sure, there's a body count. We know how many Americans have fallen. And we see those same casket pictures day in and day out. And we're almost on a first-name basis with the pukes who abused the Iraqi prisoners. And we know all about improvised explosive devices and how we lost Fallujah and what Arab public-opinion polls say about us and how the world hates us. We get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom.

          But we don't hear about the heroes.

          The incredibly brave GIs who honorably do their duty. The ones our grandparents would have carried on their shoulders down Fifth Avenue. The ones we completely ignore.

          Like Brian Chontosh. It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee. When all hell broke loose. Ambush city.

          The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in charge. It was do or die and it was up to him.

          So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire. It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.

          And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them. And he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them. Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun and Chontosh was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines. Over into the battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed, carrying an M16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps pride. And he ran down the trench.

          With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers. And he killed them all. He fought with the M16 until he was out of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man's AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead man's AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster, sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.

          When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his platoon's flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as many more. But that's probably not how he would tell it. He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and he got them out of trouble. Hoo-ah, and drive on.

          "By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."

          That's what the citation says. And that's what nobody will hear.

          That's what doesn't seem to be making the evening news. Accounts of American valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you wonder If the role of the media is to inform, or to depress - to report or to deride. To tell the truth, or to feed us lies.

          But I guess it doesn't matter. We're going to turn out all right.

          As long as men like Brian Chontosh wear our uniform.

          - by Bob Lonsberry 2004

          Comment


          • #6
            I love to hear stories our our troops and the good they are doing. Keep the good stories coming because I am tired of listening to the news and them nly telling the bad...

            Comment


            • #7
              Semper Fi brothers. Thats not directed at my comrades but at you who have posted here thanking me and my fellow servicemen for thier sacrifice in Iraq.

              Semper Fi...Guys thanks for the moral boost!

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, today's Marines are continuing the traditions set by by Marines for nearly 250 years. I know that my dad is looking down from the gates of heaven with great pride at the honor, integrity and dedication shown by these young (and not so young) Marines. As well, he has guard stood guard at the gates of Heaven to welcome those Marines who have given all for the Corps and the ir country. Semper Fi to all Marines, living and dead.
                Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

                Comment


                • #9
                  It really does make you wonder why these stories aren't being told to a broader audience......The average American should know about such heroism.
                  Lance W.

                  Peace through superior firepower.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lance Williams
                    It really does make you wonder why these stories aren't being told to a broader audience......The average American should know about such heroism.
                    Unfortunetely, it is probably because all the TV networks think it wont sell.
                    http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

                    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dannybou
                      Unfortunetely, it is probably because all the TV networks think it wont sell.
                      There's only two reasons for that: cyinicism or bias. I'd rather like to think its the former, but I'm starting to believe its the latter. I wish they would do something like a daily hero report on the nightly news or have a program saluting the heroes of the week. You know they'd have enough. And I bet it would get a lot better ratings than this prison crap! :thumb:

                      Keep up the good work over there in Iraq, Afghanistan, and those hundreds of little spots around the world. We still know you're there and doing one hell of a job! :thumb:
                      "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
                      "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Semper Fi
                        Unfortunetely, it is probably because all the TV networks think it wont sell.
                        Well said Danny.:thumb:

                        Thanks for the support of me and my brothers who are still there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marines
                          Semper Fi

                          Well said Danny.:thumb:

                          Thanks for the support of me and my brothers who are still there.
                          Yeah, I think we need a television network
                          that broadcasts to they deployed troops our messages of support and thanks - sort of like the segments on one of our local TV stations where deployed troops get to send greetings to family & friends and their message are played during the news reports. What a morale boost would that bring about? Unlike probably most of the deployed troops, I am unmarried and have no kids, so my deployment in 1990-91 was not at all diffcult. However, I could see in the faces of troops with families the emptiness of being so far away for so long a time. I know that quite a few descended so far as to talk about suicide, and a handful even attempted. It was not an easy time, but one that so many Americans have faced previously. I'm not if anything was done for any of these troops, but it was obvious they needed something they weren't getting.

                          Word will never be sufficient to express the support, compassion and gratitude that is felt by the vast majority of Americans for our deployed troops. We well understand that you are their so that we continue to have our freedoms over here.
                          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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