War Heroes VII - Joseph B. Perez

Previous War Heroes Threads - Brian Chontosh
Jason Dean Cunningham
Britt Slabinski
Justin D. Lehew
Mark E. Mitchell
John Chapman

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Navy Cross

Joseph B. Perez
United States Marine Corps

For Services as Set Forth in the Following Citation:

For extraordinary heroism as Rifleman, Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 4 April 2003.

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

Without hesitation, he continuously employed 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. Lance Corporal 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 3d Platoon on his platoon’s left flank, Lance Corporal 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, Lance Corporal 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.

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

In anticipation of expected criticism of this thread, it must be pointed out that the actions of Lance Corporal Perez saved the lives of the members of his squad, at grave risk to himself. Indeed, he sustained serious wounds in this action.

It must also be pointed out that this display of true, cool leadership was shown by a very junior enlisted man. A Lance Corporal is only an E-3, equal in rank to an Army Private First Class or Navy Seaman.

Lance Corporal Perez is a true hero by any measure. This medal is only a recognition of that fact.

I am sorry he was wounded. He still killed, and killing is not bravery. Nor should it be celebrated as such.

Stop the war. Bring the troops home now.

I would hope that, in addition to his commendation, L/Cpl Perez is no longer merely a Lance Corporal…surely he was promoted - at least I would hope the Marines would recognize his leadership under fire properly.

It’s not the killing part that makes it bravery. Advancing under heavy fire, directing counter fire toward the enemy and doing your duty with disregard to personal safety and welfare - that’s where the bravery comes in.

Bravery comes in many forms. This is one. You believe he did wrong by killing. Others, including me, think differently.

Jason Dean Cunningham singlehandedly saved ten lives under enemy fire at the cost of his own and didn’t fire a single shot. Clearly bravery has nothing to do with taking lives. What is brave about killing people who don’t want you in their country? What is brave about giving families cause to grieve, and to give them reason to hate those who made them grieve?

Sure does sound like a subject for a Great Debate, Jeff. If the Mods don’t agree I am very disappointed. I stay away from GD because I have plenty of oppurtunity to argue with people in person. I come here to be informed, entertained and amused. The pathological need for you to jump up and down in these threads and yell “look at me!” astounds me. You seem too well written and thoughtful to be a troll so I assume your motives are good. I am asking you nicely to please don’t continue to persue this in these threads. There is plenty of opportunity to express your views all over this board. Post away if you can’t help yourself, I will no longer respond here.

OlentZero, I’m asking the same of you as I asked of another poster in the first incarnation of these threads: pick your fights elsewhere. This thread is not the place for it. Thanks.

I am astounded every time by these cites, and I wish they got more coverage in the general press. Thank you.

Done and done.

Thank you Coldfire. It is certainly making a lively discussion where it belongs :slight_smile: