“As a squad leader, Cpl. Lovato was in charge of 13
Marines,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Martin, deputy commanding
general of Marine Corps Forces Command. “He was assigned a
sector to clear that was loaded with enemies in houses,
rooms, closets, on roof tops and probably in sewage systems.
It was some of the worst types of fighting you can
November 18, 2017 - Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Eubaldo Lovato (left),
Silver Star recipient, Brig. Gen. Michael Martin (center), deputy
commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Command, and Sgt. Maj.
Bryan Fuller, Inspector Instructor Sgt. Maj. of Combat Logistics
Battalion 453 Sgt. Maj., 4th Marine Logistics Group, render honors
during the playing of the National Anthem during the Silver Star
award ceremony in Montrose, Colo., Nov. 18, 2017. Lovato received an
award upgrade, from his previous Bronze Star for his heroic actions
while serving as a squad leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th
Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during Operation Al Fajr, part
of Operation Iraqi Freedom on Nov. 15, 2004. The Silver Star is the
United States third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc.
In 2004, Cpl. Eubaldo Lovato was deployed to Iraq in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
was the first to clear their sector to a designated line of
advance. Lovato made his way to an adjacent street upon
hearing that a fellow Marine, Travis Desiato, had been
gunned down and dragged into a room by an insurgent.
Marines never leave a Marine behind. Whether they are alive,
wounded or dead, a Marine is never left behind on the
“A lot of Marines envision remaining together
on hikes and motivational runs but I think that Sgt. Lovato
exemplified and brought the true meaning of that statement to the
forefront,” said Sgt. Maj. Bryan Fuller, Combat Logistics Battalion
453 sergeant major. “He truly exemplifies the saying ‘Never leave a
Cpl. Eubaldo Lovato finished his mission and
assembled a team of non-commissioned officers to link up with the
squad leader of the fallen Marine. Even with the use of tanks and
rockets shot into the room through the window, the team was
unsuccessful in their efforts to retrieve Desiato.
hell or high water, they were going to get Desiato out of the house
or they were going to die trying,” said Martin.
In the room
were five to six insurgents waiting for any Marine to come through
the door. On the third attempt, the team, led by Lovato, entered the
room with grenades and small arms and successfully recovered the
body of Desiato.
For his heroic actions in November 2004, Cpl. Eubaldo Lovato was awarded the Bronze star.
In 2016, the Department
of Defense Valor Award Review Board looked over 464 valor awards
that were given since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“They compared the valor award to those given in the Vietnam and
Korean War era, looking for inconsistencies,” said Martin. “Lovato
was one of 33 service members that was found to be under-awarded.”
Friends and family gathered once again on November 18, 2017, to
celebrate his award upgrade to the Silver Star, the 3rd highest
military personal-decoration given for valor in combat.
November 18, 2017 - Brig. Gen. Michael Martin, Deputy Commanding General of Marine Corps Forces Command,
presents Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Eubaldo Lovato with the Silver
Star award in Montrose, Colorado. Lovato
received an award upgrade from his previous Bronze Star for his
heroic actions while serving as a squad leader with Company A, 1st
Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during
Operation Al Fajr, part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, on November 15,
2004. The Silver Star is the United States third-highest personal
decoration for valor in combat. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc.
“To be completely honest, I don’t deserve this,” said
Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Eubaldo Lovato, a Silver Star
recipient. “I didn’t do anything different than what I was
trained to do. But I appreciate it and I am going to wear it
proudly because the person who does deserve this wasn’t able
to make it home. He was a 19-year-old kid from Massachusetts
who had just gotten married. I am going to wear this Silver
Star for him. He is the one that made the ultimate
Though Lovato has been out of the Corps
for almost 14 years now, his actions are now properly awarded and
will never be forgotten.
“Everything you go through in boot
camp, and the values they instill in you, shape who you are going to
be in the future,” said Lovato. “As soon as you get to the fleet,
the comradery and being able to work with different people, being
able to take orders and to give orders simultaneously, instills the
values that I think every person needs. The values that you receive
will build upon the rest of your life.”
In his senior year of
high school, Lovato took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude
Battery (ASVAB) and scored very high. A recruiter never contacted
him to see if he was interested in joining the military, so he
decided to go to the recruiter himself. With such a high ASVAB score
Lovato had the ability to join whatever military occupational
specialty (MOS) he desired. He chose to join infantry.
Lovato shipped off to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in June
“I was surprised,” said Gary Lovato, father of Eubaldo
Lovato. “One day he came home, we were sitting down for dinner, and
he said, ‘Mom, Dad, I joined the Marine Corps.’ He was 18 at the
time and made his own decisions. I was proud because we come from a
family of Marines, but it was kind of surprising.”
graduated boot camp as a meritorious private first class and went on
to Infantry Training Battalion, graduating as a meritorious lance
corporal. He had a bright future right from the start. After his MOS
school, he checked into his first command, 2nd Platoon, Alpha
Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, as
“As Marines, we promise three things to our
communities, to our citizens and to our country,” said Martin. “We
promise to make Marines, we promise to win battles, and we promise
to return better citizens to our local communities. I think Sgt.
Lovato is an absolute superb example of the success that we have
had. We made a Marine, we won the battle and now we return a better
citizen back to the community.”
Lovato now works in Colorado
as a Health and Wellness Coach, helping people reach their goals
with meal plans, weight loss plans, and exercise programs specific
to every individual.
“To me, anything is accomplishable,”
said Lovato with a proud and determined look on his face. “You may
fail at it a thousand times, but who cares about failing? The
accomplishment is worth more than that. I could fail a thousand
times but if I accomplish one thing, that is worth a thousand
failures. It doesn’t matter what it is or how impossible people may
make it seem, everything is possible you just have to put your mind
By U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Samantha Schwoch
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