Heroes: Navy Cross Winner's Story

May 17th, 2004  

Topic: Heroes: Navy Cross Winner's Story

Yesterday I sat in the back row of a small auditorium and watched twenty six young men and women receive their commissions into the United States Navy and Marine Corps. During that special time I was priveledged to hear the stories of two brave soldiers. Eight bells and the announcement "Medal of Honor, arriving" were heard as the first speaker, Gary Beirkirch, entered the room. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his efforts as an Army medic during the Vietnam war. Read his story here.

The other story was that of a young Marine 1st lieutenant who had graduated and received his own commission in this very room only a few years ago. His name is Brian Chontosh. In Iraq late March of 2003, with coalitions tanks blocking the road ahead, his platoon became trapped under heavy enemy fire. He ordered his driver through a breach to charge the entrenched machine gunner pinning them down. His gunner blasting away on top. After they had cleared the gun he ordered his Humvee right into the Iraqi trench. Carrying an M16 rifle and pistol he leapt from the car and charged down the trench. When he ran out of ammo he picked up first one and then a second discarded enemy rifle and continued his assault through the trench. One of his Marines following him found a discarded RPG (rocket propelled grenade) launcher which he used to clear another group of Iraqis. When it was all over he had cleared over 200 meteres of enemy trench, killing 20 men and wounding many others. He received the Navy Cross the USN's second highest award for extraordinary heroism. He said "I was just doing my job, I did the same thing every other Marine would have done, it was just a passion and love for my Marines."

Men like Brian Chontosh inspire us and challenge us to give our all. "You have very large boots to fill," the newly commissioned lieutenants and ensigns were told. HOORAH!

Read about Brian Chontosh here and from the official Marine Corps site here.
May 17th, 2004  
Mark Conley
read the story: Im surprised that he did not receive the Medal of Honor, as what he did for his Navy Cross was simular to Sgt York's actions in WWI.

Anyhow, its nice to read something inspiring for a change..Post On!