Luis Fonseca

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Luis Fonseca
HM1 (FMF-SW) Luis E. Fonseca, Jr., USN.jpg
Fonseca in June 2012, after an advancement ceremony at Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Nickname(s) "Doc Speedy"
Born 1980 (age 37–38)
Frankfurt, West Germany
(now Frankfurt, Germany)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1999–present
Rank PO1 collar.png Hospital Corpsman Chief Petty Officer
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 Navy Cross ribbon.svg Navy Cross
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Navy Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Navy Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon (second award)
United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg Presidential Unit Citation
Spouse(s) Christina Fonseca
Relations Children (oldest to youngest): Chrystian, Angel, Jadelynn, Brycen.
Other work Legion of Valor

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

Early life and education[edit]

Fonseca's father was stationed in Frankfurt, West Germany when Luis was born in 1980, his father later retired from the United States Army in Fayetteville in Cumberland County, North Carolina where Fonseca was raised with his father, mother, and older sister.[1][2]

Although Fonseca dropped out of high school, he did not let that stop him from pursuing a career in medicine and continuing his education. Fonseca graduated with his associate degree in June 2015 and is currently working on his prerequisites for PA school.[3]


Fonseca in November 2008, checking a piece of medical equipment.

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.[3][4][5]

Navy Cross citation[edit]


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[edit]

Fleet Marine Force Enlisted Warfare Specialist Device.svg
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Insignia.png
Badge Fleet Marine Force Enlisted Warfare Specialist Device
1st row Navy Cross
2nd row Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon w/ 1 5/16 inch award star
3rd row Navy Presidential Unit Citation Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with one 3/16 service star
4th row Battle "E" 2nd award Navy Good Conduct Medal with four 3/16 service stars Fleet Marine Force Ribbon
5th row 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
6th row Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal w/ FMF Combat Operation Insignia and one 3/16 service star Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
7th row Armed Forces Service Medal Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four 3/16 service stars
8th row NATO Medal (ISAF) Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal
Badge Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Insignia


Personal life[edit]

Fonseca was born in West Germany, after several duty station moves during his father's military career Fonseca and his family ended up in Fayetteville, North Carolina where he lived until he joined the United States Navy in 1999. Fonseca currently lives in San Diego, where he ultimately hopes to retire, with his wife Christina and their 4 children.

Fonseca is an active member of the Legion of Valor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HM2 Luis Fonseca - Heroes in the War on Terror". OurMilitaryHeroes. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  2. ^ "Valor awards for Luis E. Fonseca Military Times Hall of Valor". MilitaryTimes. Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  3. ^ a b c "HM2 Luis Fonseca". U.S. Navy Voices. TogetherWeServed. 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gregg Zoroya and Oren Odell (2006-11-10). "Medals carry great weight, as do men who wear them". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  5. ^ Lisa Burgess (2005-06-14). "I started patching them up real quick". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  6. ^ "Navy Cross Citation for Luis Fonseca". Retrieved 2012-01-24. 


Further reading[edit]

  • James E. Wise; Scott Baron (2007). The Navy Cross: Extraordinary Heroism in Iraq, Afghanistan and Other Conflicts. Naval Institute Press. pp. 29–35. ISBN 1-59114-945-2. 
  • "HM2 Luis Fonseca". U.S. Navy Voices. TogetherWeServed. 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]