View Full Version : Marine who fought injured is awarded Bronze Star

08-20-05, 07:34 AM
Marine who fought injured is awarded Bronze Star
By Pfc. Michael Cifuentes / For the Star

TWENTYNINE PALMS - The gallant action of a Marine serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom was recognized on the Twentynine Palms Marine base Aug. 5.

Lance Cpl. George A. Armendariz, a mortarman with the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, was awarded the Bronze Star medal with combat distinguishing device for heroic service in connection with operations in Al Fallujah, Iraq.

Armendariz was serving with First Platoon, Light Armored Reconnaissance Company, tasked with linking up with Company B of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.

As the two units met, they received rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. Armendariz's vehicle took the lead on the movement. They made contact with an enemy forward observer and immediately engaged him.

At that point, the platoon began taking heavy fire from the front and right flank.

Armendariz returned fire from an exposed position and was hit by a three-round burst from a machine gun, severely wounding his leg.

At first, he refused medical treatment and evacuation. He stayed in the fight until he was physically helped into the back of a casualty evacuation vehicle.

As the battle proceeded, the platoon took two more casualties that needed to be medically evacuated. The evacuation vehicle returned back into the line of fire to retrieve the wounded.

Disregarding his serious wounds, Armendariz stood up to protect the vehicle's flank and shot suppressive fire at the enemy. Still under fire and bleeding heavily from his wounds, Armendariz dismounted from his vehicle and from an exposed position, he fired with an M249 squad automatic weapon. This allowed Marines and Navy corpsmen to transfer and treat a more critically wounded Marine.

Armendariz continued his heavy rate of fire until the casualties and two corpsmen were on the light armored vehicle.

Even with three bullet wounds to his legs and under excruciating pain, he remained standing, returning fire, and provided security during the casualty evacuation out the city of Al Fallujah to Bravo Surgical Hospital at Camp Fallujah.

Present at the battle was Cpl. Daniel E. Boehme, a rifleman with the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

Boehme said his actions to help evacuate the hurt Marines could not have been done without the courageous efforts of Armendariz.

"Once Armendariz was wounded he refused medical treatment," said Boehme. "He then stood up and immediately began suppressing enemy positions. I instructed him to use the M 249 SAW, instead of his M-16. He began laying down a heavy volume of suppressive fire.

"While (the corpsman) and I evacuated the casualties, Armendariz covered our movements with suppression from the SAW. We had to return with the (medical evacuation) vehicle for further assistance. I had problems getting the spine board out of the back. Armendariz used his strength to pull it free so I could use it. When we were loading the casualty into the (vehicle), Armendariz also assisted in stabilizing and lifting him into place. While the corpsman began to work, Armendariz continued laying down suppressive fire."

Because Armendariz refused to be treated and remained active in the fight, the corpsmen were able to move and treat a casualty with far more serious wounds.

"It was unexpected going into this task," said Armendariz. "But I had no time to think. My training kicked in and I just did what I thought was right."

Two Marines were killed in the firefight.

"I was just doing my job and I happen to get an award for it," said Armendariz. "But I would have much rather seen these two Marines here today. Being awarded is no big deal sometimes. Marines losing lives is always a big deal."

"By his zealous initiative, courageous actions and exceptional dedication to duty, Armendariz reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Services," reads Armendariz's award.



08-20-05, 10:37 AM
...In many a strife we've fought for life and never lost our nerve!

Semper Fi Lance Cpl. George A. Armendariz!

Sgt Sostand
08-20-05, 01:24 PM
That what being a Marine is all about don't quit when it get Hot

Joseph P Carey
08-21-05, 02:47 AM
In the Army that is Distinguished Service Cross stuff; in the Air Force that is the making of a MoH; in the Navy he would have the award of the Navy Cross in his pocket; and, in the Marines, it is just doing the job! Lance Cpl. George A. Armendariz, you are one hell of a Marine! We salute you!