Cpl. Adam Galvez USMC

4/2/85 - 8/20/06

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 Adam's Story

 

Adam was born on April 2, 1985 in California.  He was a fun, energetic young boy.  He had an older sister Sarah and a younger brother Travis.  At age 7,  the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah.  Adam became a Boy Scout attaining the level of Life.  He loved sports and  played baseball for many years.  He enjoyed skateboarding and snowboarding.  Cars however became his true love whether it was racing them or working on them.  Adam's Acrua Integra was his ultimate prized possession that he would only be willing to give up for his dream car, a Toyota Supra.

 

Adam was always the "life of the party" kind of person.  People gravitated towards him.  His smile and sense of humor were unstoppable.  One smile from Adam and the girls would melt.  He lived life on the edge and had a great sense of adventure.  Although he found his share of mischief and trouble, he had a deeply compassionate heart.  He would do anything to help out a friend.

 

Following high school,  Adam joined the Marine Corps.  He became a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) mechanic and was assigned to the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion in Twenty-nine Palms, California.  There he worked as an LAV mechanic and driver.  3rd LAR deployed to Iraq in March of 2006.  At Camp Korean Village in Al Anbar Province, Adam repaired and maintained Light Armored Vehicles.  He reported for work daily and put in very long, hard hours.  Adam jumped at the chance to leave the confines of the base and move to the "front lines" when he was asked to replace an injured Marine.  Adam became part of Delta Company which was away from base and living out of their LAV's for weeks at a time.  It was his job to keep all the LAV's in his platoon running while they were on the move.  One Marine said  "Adam's LAV's ran faster and better than any of the others," which isn't surprising and he jokingly added "you had to be careful to handle the LAV just right or Adam would know. He would tell us we weren't treating the LAV  with enough respect." 

 

On July 29, 2006, Adam was operating at a Traffic Control Point in the city of Rawah, in  Al Anbar province.  He was in a fortified bunker when a suicide truck bomb detonated collapsing the building and trapping Adam and several other Marines.  Despite being injured, Adam freed himself from beneath the rubble and began digging out the other Marines while taking small arms fire from the enemy. Needing a shovel which was in the LAV, Adam ran unprotected and without armor through gunfire to the LAV, got a shovel, then ran back to help the others dig out the trapped Marines.  Sadly, four Marines died in that attack.  Adam refused medical treatment until all the Marines had been recovered.  He spent several days recovering from his injuries, then convinced medical personnel to allow him to return to his unit and resume his duties.  He returned to Camp Rawah on August 10th, just in time to attend the memorial service being held for the four Marines lost in that attack, Sgt. Christian Williams, Cpl. Phillip Baucus, LCpl. Tony Butterfield and LCpl. Jason Hanson.  

 

August 20, 2006 was Adam's first day back to regular duty.  The LAV, with six men aboard set out on patrol. About 2:00 PM the LAV hit an IED that consisted of multiple artillery shells with a fuel accelerant.  Three of the six-man crew were killed, including Adam.  The remaining crew members were severely injured.  Ironically, only 16 days following the memorial service Adam attended for the Marines killed on July 29th, the battalion gathered once again, in the same place  to memorialize Adam, Lcpl. Randy Newman and HN Chad Kenyon.  Adam's death was deeply felt not only by those at home who loved him, but by the Marines who lived, worked and fought side by side with him.

 

On June 21, 2007, Adam was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation with Combat Valor for his actions on July 29, 2006.

 

Although Adam is deeply missed, he lives on in those  who were blessed to share in his life.  He was willing to answer the call of his country realizing what it may cost.  The last email received from Adam in Iraq, the day before his death, concluded with "I love America."  And indeed, he did.