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Luis Fonseca

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Title: Luis Fonseca  
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Luis Fonseca

This article is about the American sailor. For the Venezuelan athlete, see Luis Fonseca (athlete).
Luis Fonseca
MCAS Kaneohe Bay.
Nickname "Doc Speedy"
Born 1980 (age 33–34)
Frankfurt, West Germany
(now Frankfurt, Germany)
Allegiance  United States of America
Years of service 1999–present
Rank Hospital Corpsman First Class
Unit 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion
1st Battalion, 2nd Marines (1/2)
2nd Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8)
Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune
USS Bataan (LHD-5)

Iraq War

Awards Presidential Unit Citation
Relations Maria Fonseca (wife)
Christian Fonseca (son)
Other work Legion of Valor

Luis E. Fonseca, Jr. (born 1980) is a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman who was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on March 23, 2003 during the Battle of Nasiriyah, one of the first large major battles of the opening stages of the Iraq War.

Early life and education

Fonseca is from Fayetteville in Cumberland County, North Carolina and was born in 1980 in Frankfurt, West Germany (now Frankfurt, Germany).[1][2]

A high school dropout, Fonseca had an early fascination with medicine and healthcare.[3]


Fonseca initially wanted to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, but decided otherwise when he discovered that they did not have a dedicated medical occupational specialty. He ultimately ended up enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in 1999, and graduated from Recruit Training Command Great Lakes in September of that year. Fonseca graduated from Hospital Corpsman "A" School in February 2000, and graduated from Field Medical Service School in May 2000. He was assigned to the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion from May 2000 to August 2003, and to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8), from August 2003 to July 2004. Afterwards, he served at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune from July 2004 until May 2007, and later, with the USS Bataan (LHD-5).[3]

Fonseca served in the War in Afghanistan from November 2003 to May 2004. He returned home from the Iraq War and was awarded the Navy Cross. However, the stress of the war, combined with the fame and attention received as a result of being awarded the medal, led Fonseca to alcohol abuse. During this time, Fonseca also dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder. Ultimately, his commanders intervened, and Fonseca received assistance in the form of counseling and medication, making a recovery possible. In many cases, among returning military veterans during wartime, psychological effects have much longer-lasting effects compared to physical wounds.[4][5][3]

Navy Cross citation

The Secretary of the Navy
Washington, D.C. 20350-1000
The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Navy Cross
Luis E. Fonseca
Hospitalman Apprentice, United States Navy
For Services as Set Forth in the Following
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Corpsman, Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, Company C., First Battalion, Second Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2 on 23 March 2003. During Company C's assault and seizure of the Saddam Canal Bridge, an amphibious assault vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade inflicting five casualties. Without concern for his own safety, Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca braved small arms, machine gun, and intense rocket propelled grenade fire to evacuate the wounded Marines from the burning amphibious assault vehicle and tend to their wounds. He established a casualty collection point inside the unit's medical evacuation amphibious assault vehicle, calmly and methodically stabilizing two casualties with lower limb amputations by applying tourniquets and administering morphine. He continued to treat and care for the wounded awaiting evacuation until his vehicle was rendered immobile by enemy direct and indirect fire. Under a wall of enemy machine gun fire, he directed the movement of four casualties from the damaged vehicle by organizing litter teams from available Marines. He personally carried one critically wounded Marine over open ground to another vehicle. Following a deadly artillery barrage, Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca again exposed himself to enemy fire to treat Marines wounded along the perimeter. Returning to the casualty evacuation amphibious assault vehicle, he accompanied his casualties South through the city to a Battalion Aid Station. After briefing medical personnel on the status of his patients, Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca returned North through the city to Company C's lines and to his fellow Marines that had been wounded in his absence. His timely and effective care undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous casualties. Hospitalman Apprentice Fonseca's actions reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions to the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.[6]

Awards and decorations

Medals and ribbons

Fleet Marine Force Enlisted Warfare Specialist Device
Navy Cross
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon w/ 1 5/16 inch award star
Presidential Unit Citation Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with one 3/16 service star
Battle “E” 2nd award Navy Good Conduct Medal with two 3/16 service stars Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal with FMF Combat Operation Insignia and two 3/16 service stars Iraq Campaign Medal with FMF Combat Operation Insignia and two 3/16 service stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal w/ FMF Combat Operation Insignia Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four 3/16 service stars
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (ISAF) Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal
Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist badge


Personal life

Fonseca is from Fayetteville, North Carolina and is married to Maria Fonseca, who is a fellow Hospital Corpsman who also served in the Iraq War. Together, they have two sons, one of whom is named Christian. One of their two sons is interested in serving in the United States Navy, and the other is interested in serving in the United States Marine Corps. Fonseca is a fan of country music, specifically Johnny Cash, Heidi Newfield, and Hank Williams III.[7][8][9][10] Fonseca is also a member of the Legion of Valor.

See also



External links

  • Luis Fonseca at TogetherWeServed
  • Luis Fonseca at TogetherWeServed
  • Luis Fonseca at U.S. Navy Voices
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