Project Hero: LCPL Carlos Gomez-Perez, Silver Star Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, June 24, 2006
Lance Corporal Carlos Gomez-Perez was awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat during the battle for Fallujah in Iraq:
A San Diego County-based U.S. Marine received a Silver Star on Wednesday in honor of his exemplary bravery and "complete dedication to duty" during an intense firefight in Iraq two years ago.
Lance Cpl. Carlos Gomez-Perez received the award, the U.S. military's third-highest medal of valor, during a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, where his unit is stationed.
The decoration recognizes Gomez-Perez's "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" during a battle in Fallujah on April 26, 2004, while he was serving as a fire-team leader for Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
In the late morning, the platoon came under fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades coming from three directions, according to a citation signed by Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter.
Gomez-Perez first made sure that several injured comrades received medical attention, then moved another downed Marine out of the line of fire, suffering wounds to his shoulder and face in the process.
"Despite his injuries, he again exposed himself to enemy fire and continued to attack the enemy with grenades and by firing his rifle with his uninjured arm," the citation states. "By his bold leadership, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Gomez-Perez reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."
Not only that, but he was instrumental in not only saving his Marines, but in winning the battle in which they were engaged. This is a war fought at the level of squad and fire team leaders, and it takes leadership such as that displayed by Gomez-Perez to succesfully wage that type of war. LCPL Gomez-Perez is indeed a leader who reflects great credit upon the US Marine Corps. And, as we all are finding out, the Corps is full of young men just like Gomez-Perez.
PROJECT HERO is an ongoing attempt to highlight the valor of our military as they fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We constantly hear the negative and far to little of the positive and inspiring stories coming out of those countries. This is one small attempt to rectify that. If you know of a story of valor you'd like to see highlighted here (published on Saturday), please contact us. And we'd appreciate your link so we can spread the word.