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January 3, 2010

Profiles of Valor: Maj Armando Espinoza (USMC)

Soon after the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment overtook an Iraqi stronghold in Baghdad. It was a fierce battle that lasted all night and into the following day. Maj. Armando Espinoza (then Capt. Espinoza), an aircraft commander serving with the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268, piloted a CH-46E helicopter that was sent in to evacuate the wounded in the midst of heavy enemy gunfire. Espinoza had to set the helicopter down next to a swimming pool that was encircled by palm trees. “It was like landing a 48-feet-long plane in a back yard while being shot at,” said a crew chief who was part of the mission.

Not only did Espinoza and his crew enter the war zone once, they returned three additional times, all the while avoiding and returning enemy fire. In all, Espinoza was credited with evacuating 28 Marines in addition to an Iraqi family. “It was very gratifying to show the Iraqis we weren’t just there for our own purposes but also for them,” Espinoza said.

For his brave actions, Espinoza was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Marine Corps’ eighth highest award. “I also accept this award for the other nine crew members involved in the flight,” Espinoza stated at the ceremony. According to Espinoza’s award citation, his conduct showed “superb airmanship, inspiring courage and loyal devotion to duty.” Semper Fi, Major!

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776


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The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)

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