MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Purple Heart was presented to a Marine with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Nov. 15, 2013, at Courthouse Bay aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., for an injury sustained in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.
Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel de la Rosa, currently a platoon sergeant with Alpha Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and native of Holland, Mich., suffered a concussion July 9, 2007, during vehicle patrols in Iraq.
“We were struck by multiple improvised explosive devices while patrolling in our amphibious assault vehicles,” said de la Rosa.
After his deployment he was transferred to Wounded Warriors Battalion and still was not awarded a Purple Heart Award.
“Wounded Warriors Battalion called me and told me that I rated a Purple Heart and I was not aware of that,” said de la Rosa.
After being contacted he was referred to more people who continued to work on helping him be recognized for his service in Iraq.
“They did all of the leg work for my award,” said de la Rosa.
De la Rosa feels that although he was awarded it is not only his award because there are other Marines he believes deserve it more than he does, he humbly added, “It’s an honor to be recognized and know that what we did is not forgotten, because there are only a few people left in the battalion who were there with me and know what we have been through.”