Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Heroes in Action:

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Juan Rubio - DefendAmerica News Article

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, May 1, 2006 —U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Juan M. Rubio, 32, of San Angelo, Texas, was awarded the Silver Star Medal April 27 for conspicuous gallantry against the enemy Jan. 1, 2005, while serving as a Marine platoon corpsman in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Silver Star Medal is the U.S. Navy’s third highest award for gallantry in combat, following the Navy Cross and the nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor.

Rubio had already earned the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the Jan. 1, 2005, engagement while serving with 4th Platoon, Small Craft Company, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command.

The citation accompanying his Silver Star Medal detailed how a well-emplaced and determined enemy ambushed Rubio and members of his team along the Euphrates River in a complex attack. As Rubio and an assault element swept through the ambush site, insurgents detonated an improvised explosive device. Rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun and small-arms fire followed immediately after the explosion, wounding three Marines.

Realizing the severity of the Marines’ wounds, and bleeding profusely from his own, Rubio low-crawled across open terrain, exposing himself to enemy fire to provide triage. Simultaneously taking care of three urgent surgical casualties, Rubio coached his fellow Marines who were assisting other casualties as incoming enemy fire intensified.

After stabilizing the wounded for casualty evacuation, Rubio directed the platoon to provide covering fire as he and several Marines began moving the casualties towards safety.

Without regard for his own life, he once again exposed himself to the heavy and accurate enemy fire, moving the Marines from the ambush site to the shoreline.

Rubio does not consider himself a hero, though.

While addressing the audience, he revealed who he believes are the true heroes, mentioning his two sons by name and that of the mortally wounded Marine lance corporal who shielded Rubio from 90 percent of the IED's shrapnel during the engagement.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Juan Rubio - DefendAmerica News Article

When asked about being a hero, PO2 Rubio answered this:

“When people ask me what it is like to be looked upon as a hero, I don’t see myself as such, because Joshua and Mathew and every son and daughter who’s out there and who has family members in Iraq, they’re the heroes,” he acknowledged while fighting back emotion. “They’re the ones who sacrifice their fathers and their mothers. That takes honor, courage and bravery to go home every night and pray that their fathers and mothers come home safe.

"And Brian Parrillo, this is for you, brother," he said. "Thank you for bringing me home.”

Why doesn't the media cover the heroes? Well, there are many, but not so many that they would not be easily noted and given a few minutes' time on the nightly news.

Rubio’s Silver Star Medal elevates him to a distinctively exceptional category of valor among Navy corpsmen since the commencement of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Only two others have been awarded the Silver Star, none have received the Medal of Honor, and only one hero has been presented the Navy Cross.

But, you heard about them here, so don't forget.

The nation that forgets it's defenders, will itself be forgotten.

Cross Posted The Castle

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