13th COSCOM Soldiers Decorated
Story by Sgt. Angela D. Green
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office
Three Soldiers from the 418th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Battalion, 64th Corps Support Group were awarded the Purple Heart during a ceremony outside the 13th Corps Support Command Headquarters Feb. 08.
Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, Commanding General of the 13th COSCOM, decorated the Soldiers in front of the 418th Transportation Company, family members and guests.
Staff Sgt. Gerardo Gomez, Sgt. David Diaz and Sgt. Joshua Ivey were manning the lead gun truck during a convoy south of Balad, Iraq, when they were struck by a roadside bomb.
Gomez, the truck commander, suffered contusions to the right shoulder and left knee and a blast injury to his right ear.
Ivey, the gunner, took shrapnel to his right leg in the explosion and burns to his right hand as he fired a damaged illumination flare to expose the enemy.
Diaz, the driver, was struck in the face by shrapnel.
The Soldiers demonstrated additional heroism as they reacted as trained despite the fact they were all injured.
Diaz maneuvered the vehicle quickly out of the blast zone, driving more than a mile with four ruined tires and a cracked engine block.
Gomez managed to coordinate medical evacuation for his Soldiers as another convoy stopped to assist.
After his Soldiers were airlifted and he had received first aid for his own injuries, he completed his convoy mission.
Terry congratulated the Soldiers on a successful mission during the ceremony, telling all present, the Soldiers are "the best of our Army and our Nation."
Staff Sgt. Gerardo Gomez, Sgt. David Diaz, and Sgt. Joshua Ivey receive the Purple Heart Medal in a ceremony at Guidon Field here Feb. 8. The three Soldiers were wounded in an improvised explosive device attack Sept. 12, 2005 near Balad, Iraq. Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th COSCOM Public Affairs