Three EOD Technicians Awarded Bronze Star
(August 15, 2010)
|CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (MCN - 8/12/2010) — Some people put their
lives on the line to help and protect others; like police
officers, who enforce the law and fight crime. Some people
take it a little further and join the armed forces, swearing
an oath to protect and defend the United States.|
Among those, there is a select group that takes their duty
beyond the ordinary, risking their own lives to protect
those who protect us.
“Explosive Ordnance Disposal stands as one of the
hardest jobs in the Marine Corps,” said Brig. Gen.
Michael G. Dana, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group
commanding general, who presented three Marines with
EOD Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd
MLG, the Bronze Star Medal with a Combat
Distinguishing Device during an award ceremony Aug.
10 aboard Camp Lejeune for actions during their
deployment to Afghanistan from May 2009 to October
Gunnery Sgt. Eric J. Gonzalez, who was also named
EOD technician of the year by the Marine Corps
Engineer Association, earned the medal for actions
during his deployment in support to Operation
Enduring Freedom from May 2009 to October 2009.
Gonzalez rendered safe 44 separate improvised
explosive devices, exposing himself to direct
Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, were awarded the Bronze Star medal with a Combat Distinguishing Devices and a Meritorious Service Medal during an award ceremony aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 10, 2010. Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, the 2nd MLG commanding general, presented the awards to the Marines.
enemy fire while conducting combat operations in
Nawa District, Helmand Province, during Operation
“I worked with first Battalion, fifth Marines, which was a
great battalion,” said Gonzalez. “Initially it was difficult
because one-five was taking over new areas in southern
Helmand where we had very little information in regard to
His dedication to duty while performing his job ensured the
safety of countless Marines and sailors operating in the
area along with Gonzalez, Gunnery Sgt. Drew B. Jordan
received the Bronze Star for actions during the same
Jordan led his team in 164 missions involving the recovery
and disposal of 91 IEDs.
“I just want to save lives and try to keep every Marine I
can safe,” Jordan explained. “I wanted to make sure my team,
the Marines in the platoon ... and in the area of operation
made it back home safe to their loved ones.”
Jordan also developed a database of IED locations and common
enemy tactics that proved indispensible for units operating
in Afghanistan, saving countless lives and millions of
dollars worth of equipment.
“While not necessary, it is an honor to be recognized,”
explained Jordan. “Receiving an award was the furthest
thought from my mind, and I am just thankful I worked with
an amazing group of Marines who kept me safe while I worked
to keep them safe.”
Another Marine to receive the Bronze Star was Gunnery Sgt.
James P. Otto, who, while exposed to enemy fire, cleared
IEDs from the canal roads so support-by-fire vehicles could
“I was with Bravo Company, one-five, which was an awesome
bunch of Marines,” Otto added. “I would definitely go back,
especially since the Marines around me made everything
worthwhile. Those Marines were some of the finest I ever
Recognized along with the gunnery sergeants was Capt.
Gregory E. Wrubluski, who received the Meritorious Service
Medal for outstanding service while serving as an EOD
officer with the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion,
U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command from
May 2007 to May 2010.
The passion these Marines feel for this important, yet
dangerous military occupation is a key ingredient to the
success of the mission.
“I do my job the best I can because I like to help people do
what they need in order to walk away from an IED,” Otto
"This is a team effort. I was recognized like many others,
but without the help of all the Marines I worked with I
would not be able to complete the mission," Otto concluded.
Article and photo by LCpl. Bruno J. Bego
2nd Marine Logistics Group
Marine Corps News
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