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Corpsmen Awarded Bronze Star Medal for Actions in Iraq

Story Number: NNS040225-12
Release Date: 2/25/2004 8:00:00 PM


By Judy Lazarus, Naval Service Training Command/Naval Station Great Lakes Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF) Alan P. and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kenneth W. were both awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V" for heroic action during Operation Iraqi Freedom, in a ceremony Feb. 23 at Naval Hospital Corps School at Naval Station Great Lakes.

The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to an individual who, while serving in or with the military of the United States, distinguishes him or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement service while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.

Rear Adm. Ann E. Rondeau, Commander, Navy Region Midwest/Naval Service Training Command presented the medals.

"This is a great Navy day," Rondeau said. "We are honoring two enlisted Sailors. They walked the walk of honor, courage and commitment.

"All of us want to have the moment when we are tested," the admiral said. "We wonder - will I be able to answer that call? These men have had that opportunity."

Dementer was cited for heroic action March 26, in support of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, Task Force Tarawa, Marine Expeditionary Force. He distinguished himself by demonstrating valor and skill when the Battalion's Main Command Operations Center came under intense enemy fire in the vicinity of An Nassariyah, Iraq.

Under fire and wounded by shrapnel in the right shoulder and right knee, Dementer proceeded over a wall to reach six wounded Marines and immediately began rendering life-saving emergency treatment. After stabilizing the Marines, he coordinated the movement of casualties over the wall during a lull in the incoming enemy fire and transported them safely to the Battalion Aid Station. His courage under fire directly led to the treatment and safe evacuation of 31 injured Marines.

Dementer, a native of Gladstone, Mich., who has been in the Navy 12 years, is currently assigned to the Naval Hospital Corps School at Naval Station Great Lakes, where he provides computer support and instructs students in field medical practices.

Falmouth, Ky. native Ball, who joined the Navy in July 2000, has been cited for heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as a hospital corpsman with the 2nd Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Task Force Tarawa/Maine Expeditionary Force, from March to April 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Ball bravely ventured into a mined area and pulled a wounded Marine to safety. Without hesitation, he quickly cut the boots and trousers off the wounded Marine and started an IV in order to treat the Marine for shock. He was able to stabilize the Marine and prepare him for evacuation to the Battalion Aid Station and ultimately prevented the need to amputate the Marine's foot.

Ball is currently assigned to the Medical Department at Naval Support Activity, Crane, Ind.

"I am standing here before master chiefs, senior chiefs, chiefs, HM1s [hospital corpsmen 1st class], HM2s and HM3s who taught me what they know," said Ball. "When it came time to do my job, I did it to the best of my ability."

"I'm not a man of many words, but I would like to say thank you," Dementer said. "This is a great honor. I have served mostly with the Marines, and I am very proud of this."

Dementer referred to his mentors in the Navy as "those people we look up to every day. If it weren't for them we wouldn't be here.

"It is a pleasure for me to do my job," added Dementer. "Everyone here in this room knows what it means to be a corpsman, to be a Sailor and to be in the Navy."

"These Sailors were serving above and beyond the call of duty to defend our way of life," said Senior Chief Boatswain Mate (SEAL) Jody McIntyre, a recipient of the Bronze and Silver Star, and guest speaker at the ceremony. "They were defending the very freedoms we have today. They were upholding the values of honor, courage and commitment. There are not enough words to fully fathom the valor and courage these men displayed."

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