Friday, July 24, 2009

Defense of Freedom Medal awarded to Eloy Ortega

CAMP VICTORY IRAQ (BAGHDAD, IRAQ) – On 12 July, Al Faw Palace Camp Victory Brigadier General Kurt Stein Director CJ 1/4/8 Multinational Forces Iraq – Iraq hosted 20 civilians in presenting the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom. The presentation included Mr. Eloy Ortega a former resident of Rio Grande City, Texas. The Defense of Freedom Medal is the civilian equivalent of the military’s Purple Heart Medal. The first recipients to be honored were those Department of Defense civilians injured or killed as a result of the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Mr. Eloy Ortega was awarded the medal as of results from injuries while he was on duty in Iraq. On August 17, 2006 Eloy was hit by glass shrapnel from an enemy incoming 82MM Mortar on Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Soon after recovery Eloy returned to continue his work as a water purification manager in support of soldiers and Airman at Joint Base Balad. Eloy served as the Army Unit Administrator in Rio Grande City for the Army Reserve’s 971st QM Det and 600TC from 1997 to 2000. Attending the ceremony in support of Eloy were Mr. Ruben Alvarado (Rio Grande City High School Class of 1979) and Army Lieutenant Colonel Ross Barrera (Rio Grande City High School Class of 1984) who both call Rio Grande City, Texas home. Eloy is currently employed with Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. He is married to Ayde Saenz from Roma, Texas and they have three children. Mr. and Mrs. Eloy Ortega presently reside in Cypress, Texas.

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