War Hero Who Was Wrongly Forced Out Of Marine Corps Will Finally Receive Bronze Star With Valor Award

Marine Forced Out Of The Corps To Finally Receive Bronze Star With Valor Award – Marine Corps Times


When Joshua Acevedo left the Marine Corps as a sergeant in 2013 following four combat tours, he felt betrayed by the service he once loved. Now the former infantry squad leader will receive the service’s fourth-highest valor award – something he says he hopes will restore his faith in the Corps.

Acevedo joined the Marine Corps with the hope of turning it into a career. The veteran of three combat tours in Iraq, he deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand province in September 2010, where he was tasked with leading a squad largely seen by his battalion leaders as the unit’s black sheep.

But what his Marines lacked in spit shine and polish, they more than made up for in courage and capability, he said. The members of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines began covering the bulk of the company’s combat missions. Their skill would even earn them a reputation among the enemy forces they were annihilating.

“They were bad asses, no doubt about it,” Acevedo said of his squad, which left country without a single injury. “They were the kind of Marines I learned about growing up. They enabled me to do a lot more than I could have done with a bunch of meritorious kids.”

Their camaraderie was most evident in a day-long firefight just north of Durzay. Acevedo’s actions resulted in a Silver Star nomination.

But the honor was soon buried beneath allegations of a battlefield murder.

The once-celebrated squad leader was ostracized, and fighting a battle for which he was ill-equipped. As was his habit in the ‘Stan, Acevedo would emerge victorious – but this time, he would not emerge unscathed. The court battle cost him a career, and caused him to lose faith in his beloved Corps.

Five years after Acevedo and his Marines faced an ambush on the battlefield, the former sergeant will be recognized by one of this generation’s most revered leaders. Retired Gen. Jim Mattis will read a citation for a Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device before Acevedo is pinned with the medal at a Marine Corps birthday ball on Oct. 31.

It’s a moment Acevedo said he hopes will take away some of the bitterness he has felt since leaving the Marine Corps.

From hero to zero

On Nov. 20, 2010, Acevedo and his squad were hours into a firefight when the squad leader ordered his assault element to take an enemy-infested hilltop.

Their individual rushes were soon halted by PKM machine gun fire from the direct front. Simultaneously, the support element got hit by a new attack from the east, and could do little to cover their fellow Marines.

The enemy was gaining fire superiority and the Marines were low on ammunition. The assault element radioed that it was down to one magazine each, 25 Squad Automatic Weapon rounds and a few grenades. The team said they would fix bayonets if Acevedo wanted them to continue the push.

He gave the order: Fix bayonets.

But Acevedo would not let his Marines go it alone. He gathered what ammo he could from the support element. His pockets were soon stuffed with M203 rounds, his kit was full of 5.56 mags, and he held all the SAW ammo he could find. After a quick prayer, he ran the 100 yards that stood between him and his Marines. Not only was it covered by enemy fire, it had not been swept for IEDs.

“The guys said the ground around me got chewed up pretty good, but nobody hit me,” he said. This run through the field of fire would earn him the Bronze Star with V.

Reinforcements arrived after a successful AH-1 Cobra gun-run.

“We had the option to get on the bird,” Acevedo said. “I took a vote: Do you guys want to get out of here or do you want to stay? With big-ass grins they said, ‘Give us some ammo and we’ll stay all day.’”

The hill was soon taken, and the black sheep squad returned to Patrol Base Hernandez under the cover of darkness. It was one of many victories. The squad’s area of operations, which had firefights at least every other day, went silent by the end of their second month on station.

“It didn’t shift elsewhere, it just stopped,” said former Capt. Nicholas Schmitz, who was their platoon commander.

While that battle ceased, another soon raged. A Marine attached to the company claimed he saw Acevedo shoot an unarmed insurgent during a firefight.

Acevedo’s career came to a screeching halt for the next year as he was investigated for murder.

Regaining lost faith

Acevedo doesn’t like to discuss the matter that landed him in an Article 32 hearing.

“I was bitter when I left the Marine Corps,” he said. “I left thinking this brotherhood they talk about doesn’t even exist.”

He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. Joseph Low, a Marine veteran who took on Acevedo’s case pro bono, said it was nothing more than a Marine “shooting his mouth off” with an untrue war story that kept getting bigger and bigger. Eventually, someone in an official capacity gets wind of the tale and the Marine Corps is forced to investigate.

Low said Corps officials did the right thing by investigating the claims, but said the service needs to do a better job of helping Marines who are found innocent in these cases “pick up the pieces.”

“There is no rebuild,” he told Marine Corps Times. “We’ll go into some of these towns in Iraq and Afghanistan and pour a lot of money and personnel hours into rebuilding the damage that was caused, but they don’t do that with individual Marines.

“I wish I could spend time with some Marine Corps officials to help them understand that accusations, true or untrue, are like a bullet out of a gun – you’ll never get it back.”

Acevedo’s case was a perfect example of that, Low said. They were able to punch holes in the claims made by the accuser, a corporal who served as a photographer during 2/1’s deployment. But the legal hiatus was also a career killer for Acevedo.

He had served eight years when the yearlong investigation started. During that time, he was unable to complete career requirements necessary to advance to staff sergeant. When ultimately cleared, Acevedo had no fight left in him.

But Low, along with Acevedo’s squad and platoon commander, would not remain quiet. Once the Marine was cleared of the charges, they pushed with vigor to ensure his actions would receive the honor due.

Schmitz, in particular, was determined to see it through. While some Bronze Stars have been turned around in as little as four months, he spent the next four years pushing through bureaucracy and cutting red tape. The former captain, who got out in 2013, admitted that he grew disillusioned and cynical, himself.

“The guy is a combat leader who did some incredible things,” he said. “It seemed like the Marine Corps couldn’t say anything good about the guy.”

“It’s disappointing that what you have done in combat and what you did to save other lives is purposefully erased and buried due to some allegations,” said Low, who joined Schmitz in his campaign.

Acevedo now works in Iraq for Triple Canopy, a provider of integrated security and mission support services. He will receive his Bronze Star with V at the Marine Corps Ball in Sonoma, California. A number of former squad members will be at his side. He would have it no other way.

“It is more of a squad award in my eyes,” he said. “Absolutely nothing could have been done without them.”

Schmitz also reached out to Mattis and asked the former head of U.S. Central Command to take part. He quickly agreed.

“The valor displayed by Sgt. Acevedo stands on its own, unadorned by who is privileged to present the actual award to him,” Mattis told Marine Corps Times. “I’m a guest at the weekend USMC birthday celebration and my role is simply to do what every Marine does when a Marine’s performance is recognized by peers and superiors as valorous – to stand and pay my respects.”

Schmitz asked Acevedo if he wanted Mattis to pin on his medal, which many Marines would consider a great honor.

“Hell no,” he said. “I like Mattis. He is a bad ass. But he wasn’t there. You were. I want you to pin it on.”

Acevedo hopes that moment will help him find closure. For the past five years he has been haunted by unanswered questions: Was he a good leader? Was he a good Marine?

“We used to joke that it is a short fall from hero to zero,” he said. “I left as a zero, and I feel like I’m always chasing it. I feel like this might let me let it go.”



U.S. Hero Of French Train Terrorist Attack, Airman Spencer Stone, Stabbed 4 Times – In Stable Condition

Spencer Stone, Hero In French Train Attack, Stabbed In California – Air Force Times


Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, who helped take down a gunman on a train in Belgium, was stabbed four times in the chest in Sacramento early Thursday morning, Air Force Times has learned.

“A1C Spencer Stone has been transported to a local hospital, and is currently being treated for injury,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Karns said in an email in Air Force Times. “The incident is currently under investigation by local law enforcement. He is currently in stable condition.”

Sacramento Deputy Police Chief Ken Bernard said Stone was with four other friends – one male and three females – when they got into a dispute with another group of people that culminating in Stone being stabbed.

“He is currently being treated for what appears to be non-life threatening but very significant injuries,” Bernard said during a news conference on Thursday. “The assault does not appear to be a random act. It’s believed to be related to a nightclub incident.”

The incident was not an act of terrorism or a hate crime, said Bernard, who repeatedly declined to answer questions about how the altercation started. Police are looking for two suspects, described as Asian men wearing white t-shirts and blue jeans who drove a gray or black Toyota Camry.

Police have not yet spoken to Stone, so they don’t know if he was drinking before the assault, said Bernard, who added that police believe “folks in his party were drinking that evening.”

On Aug. 21, Stone and two friends Army Spc. Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, bravely disarmed and subdued a gunman on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. The gunman stabbed Stone about an inch-and-a-half from his carotid artery and nearly severed Stone’s thumb during the struggle.

Stone later told reporters that he did not hesitate to charge the gunman even though he fully expected to be killed.

“I’m not going to run away,” he told reporters on Sept. 15. “I’m not going to leave everyone to die. I’d rather die trying than sit back and watch everyone get slaughtered.”

Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler all received France’s Legion of Honor. Stone was later awarded the Purple Heart and Airman’s Medal. Four days ago, he posted a picture on Instagram after receiving Belgium’s highest honor from that country’s prime minister.

A Sacramento TV station reported that Thursday’s stabbing happened about 12:45 a.m. on a Sacramento street corner.

The victim suffered “multiple stab wounds to his torso,” ABC10 Sacramento reported. Police initially said he was in critical condition but is now expected to survive.

Although the Air Force has identified Stone as the stabbing victim, Sacramento police have not officially named the person who was stabbed.

Sacramento police said they received a call from about the stabbing from a passerby, a news release says.

“It is believed that the victim was out with a group of friends when a physical altercation led to the victim being stabbed multiple times in his upper body,” the news release says. “Detectives were called to the scene to assist with the investigation and the victim is currently being treated for what appears to be non-life threatening injuries.”

The news release does not include the name of the man stabbed, who is only identified as “a man in his 20s.”

“The Sacramento Police Department respects the identity of all crime victims and appreciates your patience as we work to provide you with further details,” the news release says.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James posted on Facebook on Thursday that she was saddened to hear that Stone had been involved in the stabbing incident.

“His injuries are serious but he is in stable condition,” James wrote. “Many of you know that he risked his life weeks ago to save many lives during a French train attack. The circumstances for today’s incident are under investigation by the local law enforcement. Meanwhile, please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”



Your Daley Gator American Hero O’ The Month – Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Day (Videos)

Incredible Recovery Of Navy SEAL Who Was Shot 27 Times And Still Managed To Pull Out Handgun And Kill Two Enemy Fighters – Daily Mail

A Navy SEAL who was shot 27 times and still managed to pull out his handgun and kill two enemy fighters is now training to run a half-Ironman triathlon in honor of his fellow veterans.

Mike Day is representing Dallas-based Carrick Brain Centers, where he was treated for PTSD eight years after he survived a gunfight while serving in Iraq.

In 2007 Day was hit 27 times by enemy fire after he was the first of his SEAL team to enter a room where four enemy fighters were waiting and quickly shot the rifle out of his hand.



Day managed to kill two enemy fighters with his pistol before he was knocked unconscious by a grenade that exploded less than 10-feet away from him.

Eleven shots hit Day’s body armor while the other 16 wounded him, according to WTKR.

When Day woke up a minute later in the midst of a firefight, he grabbed his handgun and shot down two enemy fighters before the gunfire ceased.

The tough SEAL then got up and walked himself to the medical helicopter.

Day described the extent of his numerous injuries on his half-Ironman fundraiser page, writing that he was shot in both legs and arms, as well as the buttocks and scrotum.

He said a shot to his abdomen also left him with a colostomy bag for a year, and his left thumb was almost amputated.


Day’s ribs were also fractured and he suffered contusions to his lungs after his body armor was hit so many times, but the bullets missed all his vital organs.

‘This was a single gunfight at an ordinary day at the office,’ he wrote on the page.

After spending 16 days in the hospital, where he lost 55 pounds, Day was discharged and awarded the Purple Heart.

Day, who has spent 20 years in the SEALS, has also won the Silver and Bronze Star.

But Day said his life’s mission is not about him but to ‘care for and lead my wounded brothers and sisters’.

Day has raised $68,585 of his $75,000 goal for the center, which specializes in working with wounded warriors as well as children with severe brain injuries.

He will run participate in the half-Ironman, a 70 mile triathlon, in Florida next month.





On April 12, 2015 I will compete in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Florida to raise funds for the care and treatment of wounded warriors and dependent children who have suffered sever brain injuries. The funds will provide customized treatment programs to individuals at the Brain Treatment Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization in Texas.

My Story: I served over 21 years as a United States Navy SEAL. On my last deployment to Iraq I was severely wounded in April of 2007. Upon entering a 12 x 12 foot room, I was shot twenty-seven times at close range and received shrapnel wounds from a grenade. I was shot in both legs, both arms, my left thumb was almost amputated, I was shot in the abdomen and had a colostomy bag for a year, my right scapula was shattered, I was shot twice in the buttocks, once in the scrotum and my body armor was hit multiple times which caused fractured ribs and contusions on my lungs. This was a single gunfight at an ordinary day at the office. I was there and don’t believe it happened. I walked out of that house on my own two legs to the MEDIVAC helicopter and was transported to National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, via Baghdad and Landstuhl, Germany. My survival was an absolute miracle! I am a miracle and was saved to do greater things!


My life’s mission now not about me. Rather, it is to care for and lead my wounded brothers and sisters. My fellow warriors deserve the best available treatment for their injuries. The Brain Treatment Foundation is the non-profit division of The Carrick Brain Treatment Center, an organization that delivers state-of-the-art customized treatment programs to individuals suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and other neurological issues. I have personally seen the results of their work and am confident that they will continue to change lives.

Thank you in advance for your support, I am grateful.

God Bless,


PS. If you would like make an “offline” donation by sending a check please email me at; mikeday71@hotmail.com

Checks can be made payable to the:
Brain Treatment Foundation

EIN: 46-4567004




*VIDEO* Lt. Col. Ralph Peters: Obama Regime Wants Deserter Bowe Bergdahl As Their Hero



Iraq War Hero To Obama: You Said You Were Proud Of Our Sacrifices, So Why Did You Throw Them Away?

Iraq War Hero JR Salzman To Obama: You Said You Were Proud Of Our Sacrifices. So Why Did You Throw Them Away? – Gateway Pundit

JR Salzman, the “Lumberjack in the Desert” blogger, was the ESPN Outdoor Sportsman of the Year back in 2005.

Then he went to Iraq.

JR lost his arm in an IED attack.

In July 2009 JR came back and won his 7th ESPN Logrolling Championship.


J. R. Salzman, who lost an arm in Iraq, with his sister after winning his seventh logrolling title. (The New York Times)

Today J.R. Salzman posted a series of tweets in response to the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

Remember when we met in 2007 @BarackObama?


J.R. Salzman

Remember when we met in 2007 @BarackObama? You said you were proud of our sacrifices. So why did you throw them away?
11:19 PM – 12 Jun 2014

1,515 Retweets 849 favorites

Screw American lives lost.

J.R. Salzman

Shorter Obama: screw Iraq, screw American lives lost, screw American dollars spent, screw being President. I’m going golfing.
12:15 PM – 13 Jun 2014

495 Retweets 270 favorites

** Read the rest at Progressives Today.



Fort Hood Hero Says President Obama ‘Betrayed’ Her, Other Victims (Video)

Fort Hood Hero Says President Obama ‘Betrayed’ Her, Other Victims – ABC News

Three years after the White House arranged a hero’s welcome at the State of the Union address for the Fort Hood police sergeant and her partner who stopped the deadly shooting there, Kimberly Munley says President Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of.

Click on the image above to watch the video.

“Betrayed is a good word,” former Sgt. Munley told ABC News in a tearful interview to be broadcast tonight on “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”

“Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of,” she said. “In fact they’ve been neglected.”

There was no immediate comment from the White House about Munley’s allegations.

Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the November 2009 rampage by the accused shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, who now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.

Tonight’s broadcast report also includes dramatic new video, obtained by ABC News, taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, capturing the chaos and terror of the day.

Munley, since laid off from her job with the base’s civilian police force, was shot three times as she and her partner, Sgt. Mark Todd, confronted Hasan, who witnesses said had shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire on soldiers being processed for deployment to Afghanistan.

As Munley lay wounded, Todd fired the five bullets credited with bringing Hasan down.

Despite extensive evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, the military has denied the victims a Purple Heart and is treating the incident as “workplace violence” instead of “combat related” or terrorism.

READ a Federal Report on the FBI’s Probe of Hasan’s Ties to al-Awlaki

Al-Awlaki has since been killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, in what was termed a major victory in the U.S. efforts against al Qaeda.

Munley and dozens of other victims have now filed a lawsuit against the military alleging the “workplace violence” designation means the Fort Hood victims are receiving lower priority access to medical care as veterans, and a loss of financial benefits available to those who injuries are classified as “combat related.”

READ the Fort Hood Victims’ Lawsuit

Some of the victims “had to find civilian doctors to get proper medical treatment” and the military has not assigned liaison officers to help them coordinate their recovery, said the group’s lawyer, Reed Rubinstein.

“There’s a substantial number of very serious, crippling cases of post-traumatic stress disorder exacerbated, frankly, by what the Army and the Defense Department did in this case,” said Rubinstein. “We have a couple of cases in which the soldiers’ command accused the soldiers of malingering, and would say things to them that Fort Hood really wasn’t so bad, it wasn’t combat.”

A spokesperson for the Army said its policy is not to comment on pending litigation, but that it is “not true” any of the military victims have been neglected and that it has no control over the guidelines of the Veterans Administration.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh told ABC News he was unaware of any specific complaints from the Fort Hood victims, even though he is a named defendant in the lawsuit filed last November which specifically details the plight of many of them.

“If a soldier feels ignored, then we need to know about it on a case by case basis,” McHugh told ABC News. “It is not our intent to have two levels of care for people who are wounded by whatever means in uniform.”

Some of the victims in the lawsuit believe the Army Secretary and others are purposely ignoring their cases out of political correctness.

“These guys play stupid every time they’re asked a question about it, they pretend like they have no clue,” said Shawn Manning, who was shot six times that day at Fort Hood. Two of the bullets remain in his leg and spine, he said.

“It was no different than an insurgent in Iraq or Afghanistan trying to kill us,” said Manning, who was twice deployed to Iraq and had to retire from the military because of his injuries.

An Army review board initially classified Manning’s injuries as “combat related,” but that finding was later overruled by higher-ups in the Army.

Manning says the “workplace violence” designation has cost him almost $70,000 in benefits that would have been available if his injuries were classified as “combat related.”

“Basically, they’re treating us like I was downtown and I got hit by a car,” he told ABC News.

For Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times at Fort Hood and blinded in one eye, the military’s treatment is deeply hurtful.

“It’s a slap in the face, not only for me but for all of the 32 that wore the uniform that day,” he told ABC News.

Lunsford’s medical records show his injuries were determined to be “in the line of duty” but neither he nor any of the other soldiers shot or killed at Fort Hood is eligible for the Purple Heart under the Department of Defense’s current policy for decorations and awards.

Army Secretary McHugh says awarding Purple Hearts could adversely affect the trial of Major Hasan.

“To award a Purple Heart, it has to be done by a foreign terrorist element,” said McHugh. “So to declare that soldier a foreign terrorist, we are told, I’m not an attorney and I don’t run the Justice Department, but we’re told would have a profound effect on the ability to conduct the trial.”

Members of Congress, including the chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, say they will introduce legislation to force the military and the Obama administration to give the wounded and dead the recognition and honors they deserve.

“It was clearly an act of terrorism that occurred that day, there’s no question in my mind,” McCaul told ABC News. “I think the victims should be treated as such.”

Former Sgt. Munley says she now believes the White House used her for political advantage in arranging for her to sit next to Michelle Obama during the President’s State of the Union address in 2010.

Munley says she has no hesitation now speaking out against the President or taking part in the lawsuit, because she wants to help the others who were shot that day and continue to suffer.

“We got tired of being neglected. So this was our last resort and I’m not ashamed of it a bit,” said Munley. She is also raising money for a movie about Fort Hood, and says some of the proceeds will go to the victims.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story