Showing posts with label Fallujah Iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fallujah Iraq. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

MOH Staff Sgt. David Bellavia

David Bellavia receives the Medal of Honor for his actions in a ‘house of nightmares’

Published: June 25, 2019

WASHINGTON — Pinned down inside a pitch-black, insurgent-filled house in the early days of the second battle of Fallujah, Staff Sgt. David Bellavia grabbed a heavy M249 automatic machine gun from another soldier and charged forward into oncoming fire from enemy fighters hunkered down in a stairwell.

The enemy fighters froze, ducking away from Bellavia’s fire just long enough for his squad to escape the building and regroup outside. Moments later, with his fellow soldiers outside, the infantryman from Buffalo, N.Y, burst back into the building — eventually killing four insurgents and gravely wounding another.

Nearly 15 years later, Bellavia stood stoically Tuesday as President Donald Trump placed the Medal of Honor around his neck for his actions that night — Nov. 10, 2004, his 29th birthday. The former infantryman who left the Army in 2005 never cracked a smile during the White House ceremony, sharing only telling nods with more than a dozen of the men with whom he served. Along with his family, the men joined him on the East Room stage and a packed audience roared and applauded.

Many of those men would not have made it to the White House on Tuesday if it were not for Bellavia and his “exceptional courage to protect his men and defend our nation,” against an enemy “that would have killed them all had it not been for David,” Trump said.
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From the White House

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Opera Fallujah Premiere Harder For Marine Veteran

World premiere of opera 'Fallujah' in Long Beach may be among former Marine's most difficult missions
Los Angeles Times
David Ng
March 12, 2016
The idea for the opera originated after his return from the war. While at an Idaho retreat for veterans, he struck up a friendship with Charles Annenberg Weingarten, the son of Los Angeles philanthropist Wallis Annenberg, who was shooting a documentary on veterans.
'Fallujah' Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times Clockwise from top, Zeffin Quinn Hollis, Ani Maldjian, LaMarcus Miller, Jason Switzer and Jonathan Lacayo perform a scene from the opera "Fallujah" at the Army National Guard in Long Beach.
During his tour of duty as a gunner in Iraq, former Marine Sgt. Christian Ellis experienced his share of trauma — the battles, the killings, an assault that left him with a spinal injury. But there were good memories too — the gung-ho Marine spirit, the camaraderie, even the sunsets in the Iraqi desert.

"They were incredible," he recalled, almost wistfully. "You've never seen anything like them."

Ellis was standing near a stage at the Army National Guard in Long Beach, looking at a wall-size photo of an orange sun descending on a desolate Iraqi landscape, a backdrop that will serve as a setting for the new opera inspired by his life.
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Marines recount '04 Fallujah battle in documentary

Marines recount '04 Fallujah battle in documentary
Military Times
Hope Hodge
June 10, 2013

Twelve Marines recount the same gritty and tragic day of fighting in Iraq on Nov. 22, 2004.

In a sea of documentary films about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Garrett Anderson's project is a rarity: A Marine veteran of Iraq, he has turned the camera on his battle buddies to create an intimate portrait of a day they shared together during the second battle of Fallujah, Iraq.

Anderson, a former radio operator with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, funded his project's $30,000 budget through the entrepreneurial startup website, Kickstarter. The premise: Let 12 Marines from his unit recount the same gritty and tragic day of fighting on Nov. 22, 2004, complemented by original footage from troops' personal hand-held cameras. From there, Anderson's lens follows his former colleagues as they cope with their own memories almost a decade later.

First called And Then They Came Home, the project was renamed The November War to more accurately fit the narrative as it took shape, Anderson said. The 27-year-old Portland, Ore., resident said he and his co-producer, Antonio de la Torre, are about two weeks from completion of the project, their first feature-length documentary.
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The November War

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Two statues recall Fallujah’s ‘Hell House’

Two statues recall Fallujah’s ‘Hell House’
Marine Corps Times
By Hope Hodge
Staff writer
Posted : Friday Mar 8, 2013

Wyoming artist John Phelps created two copies of this monument, showing Marines carrying a wounded comrade during the 2004 Battle of Fallujah. The monuments will be placed at the entrance to Hope and Care centers for wounded warriors aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. and Camp Pendleton, Calif.
A sculpture commemorating one of the most gripping images of Operation Iraqi Freedom will be unveiled Friday aboard Camp Lejeune.

Installed in front of the base’s Warrior Hope and Care Center, the statue depicts a 2004 photo snapped by freelance combat photographer Lucian Read showing wounded Marine 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal, his uniform soaked in blood, being carried out of Fallujah’s famous “Hell House” by two lance corporals.

Kasal had entered the building when he saw that Marines were trapped inside, fighting with insurgents in close quarters. He and a few other Marines combed through the structure to find and rescue their wounded brothers-in-arms, getting hit repeatedly as they went by enemy gunfire and shrapnel.

Kasal would receive the Navy Cross for bravery that day under fire and despite severe wounds to both legs.

Wyoming sculptor John Phelps, who was commissioned to the project by the national nonprofit organization Hope for the Warriors, said the project has special meaning for him.

A Vietnam veteran, Phelps lost his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps to combat in Iraq in 2004, the year the photo was taken. The journey of Lance Cpl. Phelps home from the battlefield after he was killed by enemy fire is portrayed in the 2009 HBO film Taking Chance, starring Kevin Bacon.
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

PTSD Iraq veteran becomes filmmaker to help others

Veteran Pursues Career in Filmmaking
ABC News
Oct. 31, 2012

Michael Chan's life changed when the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center hit close to his lower east side Manhattan home.

"It was pretty horrific. You could hear the fire ambulances on FDR Drive," Chan said in ABC's Stand Up For Heroes series. "I thought to myself, you know, I want to make a difference. I knew on my 18th birthday, I would enlist."

"I think it was more of a shock at first," he added. "I didn't really understand what was going on. But I knew that I had to learn quick."

While many of Chan's peers were pursuing a higher education, he joined the Marines. Chan served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq, where he served as explosive ordinance security, combat security detachment for the U.S. Army, artillery support for the Al Anbar province and provisional infantry on foot.

Chan served in Fallujah from April 2004 to April 2008, during some of the hottest moments the area experienced.

"I guess we were mentally prepared, but at the same time, it's different when you're actually there in the fight," he said.

Since returning home from duty, Chan suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Did Sgt. Rafael Peralta's actions deserve MOH or not?

Sgt. Rafael Peralta’s Medal of Honor case shifts again
JUNE 22ND, 2012

Sgt. Rafael Peralta’s case for the Medal of Honor has shifted again, according to a congressman who has pressed the Pentagon to review new evidence that he says shows the Marine chose to smother a grenade to save his buddies in Iraq.

Peralta, 25, died Nov. 15, 2004, in Fallujah. He was awarded the Navy Cross in 2008 for disregarding his own personal safety while already mortally wounded, pulling the grenade to his body, “absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away,” according to his award citation.

Despite the extraordinary heroism, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates shot down Peralta’s case for the Medal of Honor in 2008, leading the Navy Department to authorize the Navy Cross instead.

Pentagon officials cited “contradictory evidence” on whether he had the cognitive ability to choose to cover the grenade despite already being mortally wounded in the head, outraging his family, fellow Marines and veterans.

The Navy Department acknowledged in March that it was reviewing new evidence — two videos recorded shortly after the blast by fellow Marines and a new pathology report — but declined to characterize the move as a “re-opening” of the case.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memories of day when Boston firefighter saved Boston cop in Fallujah

For two Hub officers, a day to remember

By Renee Nadeau Algarin
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When Staff Sgt. Terrence Burke, a Marine Corps reservist and Boston cop, was blown out of his Humvee by a roadside bomb and lay bleeding in a Fallujah street in 2006, it was a Boston firefighter who came rushing in under insurgent fire to pull him to safety.

Burke, now 33 and an amputee but still a Boston cop, used his keynote address at yesterday’s Memorial Day observance in Dorchester to publicly thank Boston Fire Lt. James O’Brien for saving his life. Thousands of miles from home, O’Brien — a Naval Reserve Medical Corpsman — was one of two medics who pulled Burke and two other Marines to safety that September day.

“I was definitely going into shock, but I was conscious. I remember being on a stretcher and then being on the back of an evacuation vehicle,” Burke said, rattling off his injuries: a severely injured left leg that had to be amputated; a fractured right ankle and left forearm; two collapsed lungs; a ruptured ear drum; and third-degree burns over nearly 20 percent of his body.
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For two Hub officers, a day to remember

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Soldier dies trying to stop fight between two other soldiers

Soldier killed trying to stop fight
Stockton Army

By Joe Goldeen
Record Staff Writer
September 29, 2010 12:00 AM
STOCKTON - Army Spc. John Carrillo Jr. of Stockton was killed last week while trying to break up a fight between two soldiers inside his barracks in Fallujah, Iraq, a family member said Tuesday.

Carrillo, 20, leaves behind his wife, Reylene, the couple's 3-year-old and 3-month-old children, his parents, John Sr. and Desiree Carrillo, three siblings ages 9, 7 and 5, and numerous other relatives in the Stockton area.

He died Friday, a day after the fight and shooting incident. Authorities with United States Forces-Iraq, based in Baghdad, said Spc. Neftaly Platero, 32, of Houston has been placed in pretrial confinement in connection with the deaths of Carrillo and Pfc. Gebrah Noonan, 26, of Watertown, Conn., and the shooting of a third unnamed military member at the base 40 miles west of Baghdad. The third victim's injuries are not life threatening.
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Soldier killed trying to stop fight

Monday, September 6, 2010

Navy Cross recipient continues to help Marines

Navy Cross recipient continues to help Marines

By Jeb Phillips - The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch
Posted : Saturday Sep 4, 2010 16:35:02 EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One of the most highly decorated Marines during the war in Iraq had to drink to fall asleep.

He once tried to kill himself.

This was after Jeremiah Workman’s tour in Fallujah, where on Dec. 23, 2004, he demonstrated such extraordinary heroism that he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Workman, a retired staff sergeant, led three assaults into a house where insurgents had trapped other Marines. Injured by grenade shrapnel, he helped save many of those Marines and kill 24 insurgents.

Workman, now 27, originally is from Richwood and was a high-school football player. He tells these biographical details to current and retired Marines, including the ones he has recently spoken with in Ohio.

“I wasn’t broken before I went in,” he tells them. “I’m you.”

He still goes to counseling, he says, and he still takes medicine for post-traumatic stress disorder. If a football player, not to mention a Navy Cross recipient, admits that he needed help after a deployment, maybe other Marines will admit it, too.
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Navy Cross recipient continues to help Marines


Navy Cross Citation for Jeremiah W. Workman

Sgt. Jeremiah Workman was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism while on duty in Fallujah. "Almost any infantry Marine would have done what I did," he says. (By Sarah L. Voisin -- The Washington Post)

A Hero Who Did not Save Himself
For Jeremiah Workman, Decorated for Bravery in Iraq, the Battle's Not Over Yet

By Peter Carlson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 4, 2007

Despite heavy resistance from enemy automatic weapon fire and a barrage of grenades, Corporal Workman fearlessly. . .

Jeremiah Workman stood at attention and tried to listen as the narrator read the citation that detailed what he'd done to earn the Navy Cross, an award for valor that is second only to the Medal of Honor.

. . . Corporal Workman again exposed himself to enemy fire while providing cover fire for the team when an enemy grenade exploded directly in front of him, causing shrapnel wounds to his arms and legs . . .

He was standing on the parade ground, facing a grandstand packed with hundreds of people, including his wife and his mother. Behind him were several hundred Marine recruits who were about to graduate from boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., where Workman had recently lost his job as a drill instructor after he suffered what he calls a "mental meltdown."

. . . Although injured, he led a third assault into the building, rallying his team one last time to extract isolated Marines . . .

When the narrator finished reading the story of Workman's "extraordinary heroism" in Iraq, Brig. Gen. Richard T. Tryon pinned the Navy Cross to Workman's chest and the crowd in the grandstand stood and cheered. It was a moment of well-deserved triumph, but it didn't make Workman feel any better.

"When they put that medal on me, from that point on, I sunk deeper into depression," he recalls. "Everybody says it must be awesome to win the Navy Cross. Well, as a matter of fact, it's not. I lost three guys that day, so for the longest time, I didn't even want to wear it. I'd look down at it and see three dead Marines."
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Marine in Fallujah sees daughter born in Hartford

Videoconference Lets Marine In Iraq See Newborn Daughter
By HILARY WALDMAN Courant Staff Writer
September 4, 2008
Brandon Hotard has waited 10 years to become a father. So when it finally happened at 9:39 a.m. Wednesday, he couldn't wait to see his new daughter — even if he was halfway across the world.
With the help of a satellite hookup and some pretty sophisticated computer equipment, Hotard, a corporal in the Marine Corps serving in Fallujah, Iraq, got his first look at Breanna Sophia Hotard four hours after she was born at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.
Exhausted and in some pain after a Caesarean section, Hotard's wife, Mariela, smiled, waved the baby's tiny arm and whispered "Hi, Daddy" when Hotard's face appeared on a flat-screen computer monitor at the foot of her bed."I told you when I saw the sonogram she looked like you," Mariela told her husband in a long-distance conversation that was a bit awkward because of a three-second delay.
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

IRAQ: Fever Named After Blackwater

IRAQ: Fever Named After Blackwater
By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail*

FALLUJAH, Mar 26 (IPS) - Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call "Blackwater" that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq.

"This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection," Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. "It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours."

What Iraqis now call Blackwater fever is really a well-known medical condition, and while it has nothing to do with Blackwater Worldwide, Iraqis in al-Anbar province have decided to make the connection between the disease and the lethal U.S.-based company which has been responsible for the death of countless Iraqis.

The disease is most prevalent in Africa and Asia. The patient suffers severe intravascular haemolysis -- the destruction of red blood cells leading to kidney and liver failure. It also leads to black or red urination, and hence perhaps the new name 'Blackwater'.

The deadly disease, never before seen in Iraq on at least this scale, seems to be spreading across the country. And Iraq lacks medicines, hospitals, and doctors to lead a campaign to fight the disease.

"We informed the ministry of the disease, but it seems that they are not in a mood to listen," a doctor from the al-Anbar Health Office in Ramadi told IPS, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We are making personal contacts with NGOs in an attempt to get the necessary medicines."
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linked from RawStory