Marine of the Week // The Insurgents Were Next Door

Marine of the Week // The Insurgents Were Next Door

Lance Cpl. Carlos Gomez-Perez
2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division
Fallujah, Iraq, April 26, 2004
Award: Silver Star

While conducting security patrols in Al Fallujah, Iraq, Lance Corporal Gomez-Perez’ platoon secured two buildings from which to observe enemy movement. At 1100, a numerically superior enemy force attacked the platoon with rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun fire from three directions. During the first 15 minutes of the attack, the enemy closed to within 20 meters of the platoon, wounding many Marines on the rooftop position. After ensuring wounded platoon members received medical treatment, Lance Corporal Gomez-Perez rushed to reinforce the critical rooftop position. After enemy fire wounded one of his comrades, Lance Corporal Gomez-Perez courageously exposed himself to enemy fire to move the Marine to safety and was wounded through the right shoulder and cheek during 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. Lance Corporal Gomez-Perez’ fierce defense halted a determined enemy assault and enabled the evacuation of wounded Marines. 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.

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  • David Ballance

    Thank you LCpl Perez, for displaying what every Marine is capable of. Thank you for your devotion to your fellow Marines. My son, SSgt. R.A. Ballance, had a similar experience for which he was awarded the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device. His humvee struck an ied and his unit came under attack. His turret gunner took a round through the bucket that creased his gourd. SSgt Animal, as he was known, bandaged the gunner and arranged dustoff. The gunner refused evac and returned to his weapon. Through the direction of SSgt Animal the unit successfully defeated the attack. The proof of God’s presence is that after the battle the uparmoured humvee had a 7.62 round go through the gas cap and spider web the windshield in front of the front seat where my son was sitting.

  • Roy ortiz. 79-89 USMC

    Thank you for doing what we are trained to do and some semper fi marine

  • SgtMaj Pete Longoria, USMC, Retired (AD: 1960-1990)

    This is the second case I read that very obviously calls for a decoration of higher value. I have read citations awarding more precious awards for somewhat less heroism. Can someone in the Awards Chain give me a true explanation of why this Marine did not get awarded at least the Navy Cross…?

  • Sgt A.J.Manos

    L/Cpl Perez is one tough Hombre.Check that!One tough Marine.I saw the footage of his extraordinary heroism and the 3 inch by 3 inch hole blown thru his shoulder and he continued the fight.Amazing Marine.He does deserve the Navy Cross being severly wounded but carried on with the fight.I met a CPL from 2/1 that was in that battle at the VA at west L.A VA.That Marine got a gimp arm diving for cover.No Purple Heart or medal for him.Personally,I feel any Grunt that takes the field against an enemy deserves the Bronze Star whether they were wounded or not.Our Grunts are the toughest in the world and what they go thru on a daily basis earn a Bronze Star in my book.Semper Fi.

  • John T Lefker Sgt 1953-1957

    In reply to Juan Alonzo, Capt. USMC, Ret..
    Good words Capt. Maybe your letter will get the ball rolling.

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