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March, 2003: As a convoy of American Marines entered the city of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, a group of AAVs (Amphibious Assault Vehicles) came under attack by small-arms fire and relentless RPGs (rocket-propelled grenade). Hospitalman Apprentice Luis Fonseca witnessed an AAV burning and took it upon himself to save the wounded Marines on the inside. While under fire, the Navy corpsman stabilized two casualties with lower limb amputations by applying tourniquets and administering morphine to ease the pain. As the attacked convoy positioned itself in a defensive posture, Fonseca organized the evacuation of four wounded Marines, once again exposing himself to enemy fire. Once evacuated, the sailor moved to the offensive line to treat Marines as they became wounded.

As he presented Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca with the Navy Cross for heroism under fire, Secretary of the Navy Gordon England indicated that this sailor’s selfless acts of bravery saved the lives of numerous casualties.

—DoD

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