Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site.

Our hero this week is LCPL Carlos Gomez-Perez, Silver Star

The armor-piercing round ripped through the right shoulder of then-Lance Cpl. Carlos Gomez-Perez, leaving a fist-sized hole.

Maybe it was the adrenaline, but the stocky, young Marine felt no pain during the April 2004 firefight.

One floor below him, as Iraqi insurgents fired relentlessly, Gomez-Perez could hear his fellow Marines shouting.

The El Cajon resident propped up his M-16 and pulled the trigger despite his bloodied chest, his thick, wide frame keeping his shoulder intact. He lobbed a grenade with his good arm.

Beside him, Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin, 21, wounded by gunfire, was losing his fight for life. Below him, the shouting continued.

"All I heard was screaming and screaming," Gomez-Perez said.

Gomez-Perez decided he would die before he would be taken prisoner and made a bold move to lead his fellow Marines, several wounded, against their attackers.

His actions that day would earn him the Silver Star for heroism in battle, awarded at a ceremony Wednesday

"It runs through my head every day," said Gomez-Perez, who is indifferent about receiving the award. "I really don't know what it means."

Instead, he remembers the day, the fighting, the wounded and his actions.

"What could I have done differently?" he said he asks himself. "Austin - he's the one who died because I couldn't save him."



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