On August 11, 2004, Navel Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca, Jr. was awarded the Navy's second highest decoration. The Navy Cross, which is awarded for extraordinary heroism while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States and must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk, was awarded for his actions while serving with Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Task Force Tarawa, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
On March 23, 2004, Fonseca, Jr.'s unit were trying to take the Saddam Canal Bridge. Five Marines were injured when their vehicle was hit by an RPG. Fonseca, while still being fired upon by machine guns and RPG's, pulled the Marines to safety and established a casualty collection unit inside his own medical evacuation vehicle. After his vehicle was hit once again, Fonseca organized litter teams and directed the movement of four of the Marines, while personally carrying one wounded Marine over open ground to another vehicle. On November 15, 2004, Seaman Fonseca was awarded the "Grateful Nation Award" from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for his actions.
"I was doing my job," said Fonseca. "I wish I could have done more."
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
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