And now from the "I can't believe it's not all bad news" department... Brian Chontosh- yes, a real hero,
not an Internet rumor. Sheesh, bad enough it doesn't make CNN but even
when people hear the truth they still don't believe it! Hellooooo? We
are really sending the best of our country to deal with the worst people
in the world and they are ALL HEROES- BELIEVE IT!!! THANK YOU BRIAN!
Brian R. Chontosh
Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh of Rochester,
N.Y., received the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism
on the Internet, 2004]
Meet Brian Chontosh.
Churchville-Chili Central School class
of 1991. Proud graduate of the Rochester
Institute of Technology. Husband and about-to-be
father. First lieutenant in the United
States Marine Corps.
And a genuine hero.
The secretary of the Navy said so yesterday.
At 29 Palms in California Brian Chontosh
was presented with the Navy Cross, the
second highest award for combat bravery
the United States can bestow.
That's a big deal.
But you won't see it on the network news
tonight, and all you read in Brian's hometown
newspaper was two paragraphs of nothing.
Instead, it was more blather about some
mental defective MPs who acted like animals.
The odd fact about the American media
in this war is that it's not covering
the American military. The most plugged-in
nation in the world is receiving virtually
no true information about what its warriors
Oh, sure, there's a body count. We know
how many Americans have fallen. And we
see those same casket pictures day in
and day out. And we're almost on a first-name
basis with the pukes who abused the Iraqi
prisoners. And we know all about improvised
explosive devices and how we lost Fallujah
and what Arab public-opinion polls say
about us and how the world hates us.
We get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom.
But we don't hear about the heroes.
The incredibly brave GIs who honorably
do their duty. The ones our grandparents
would have carried on their shoulders
down Fifth Avenue.
The ones we completely ignore.
Like Brian Chontosh.
It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad.
Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling
up Highway 1 in a humvee.
When all hell broke loose.
The young Marines were being cut to ribbons.
Mortars, machine guns, rocket propelled
grenades. And the kid out of Churchville
was in charge. It was do or die and it
was up to him.
So he moved to the side of his column,
looking for a way to lead his men to safety.
As he tried to poke a hole through the
Iraqi line his humvee came under direct
enemy machine gun fire.
It was fish in a barrel and the Marines
were the fish.
And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack.
He told his driver to floor the humvee
directly at the machine gun emplacement
that was firing at them. And he had the
guy on top with the .50 cal unload on
Within moments there were Iraqis slumped
across the machine gun and Chontosh was
still advancing, ordering his driver now
to take the humvee directly into the Iraqi
trench that was attacking his Marines.
Over into the battlement the humvee went
and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed,
carrying an M16 and a Beretta and 228
years of Marine Corps pride.
And he ran down the trench.
With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns
And he killed them all.
He fought with the M16 until it was out
of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta
until it was out of ammo. Then he picked
up a dead man's AK47 and fought with that
until it was out of ammo. Then he picked
up another dead man's AK47 and fought
with that until it was out of ammo.
At one point he even fired a discarded
Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster, sending
attackers flying with its grenade explosion.
When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared
200 yards of entrenched Iraqis from his
platoon's flank. He had killed more than
20 and wounded at least as many more.
But that's probably not how he would tell
He would probably merely say that his
Marines were in trouble, and he got them
out of trouble. Hoo-ah, and drive on.
"By his outstanding display of decisive
leadership, unlimited courage in the face
of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion
to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh reflected great
credit upon himself and upheld the highest
traditions of the Marine Corps and the
United States Naval Service."
That's what the citation says.
And that's what nobody will hear.
That's what doesn't seem to be making
the evening news. Accounts of American
valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda,
yet accounts of American difficulties
are heralded as objectivity. It makes
you wonder if the role of the media is
to inform, or to depress ? to report or
to deride. To tell the truth, or to feed
But I guess it doesn't matter.
We're going to turn out all right.
As long as men like Brian Chontosh wear
Cross, established by an Act of Congress in 1919,
is the naval service's second highest award and may
be awarded to any person who, while serving with the
Navy or Marine Corps, distinguishes himself/herself
in action by extraordinary heroism not justifying
an award of the Medal of Honor. To earn a Navy Cross
the act to be commended must be performed in the presence
of great danger or at great personal risk and must
be performed in such a manner as to render the individual
highly conspicuous among others of equal grade, rate,
experience, or position of responsibility.
On 6 May 2004, Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh of Rochester,
N.Y., received the Navy Cross "for extraordinary heroism
while serving as Combined Anti-Armor Platoon Commander,
Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment,
1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force,
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom March 25, 2003."
The details of the heroism
that earned Capt. Chontosh his medal
are provided on the Marine Corps News web site:
While leading his platoon north
on Highway 1 toward Ad Diwaniyah, Chontosh's platoon
moved into a coordinated ambush of mortars, rocket
propelled grenades and automatic weapons fire.
With coalition tanks blocking the road ahead,
he realized his platoon was caught in a kill zone.
He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach
along his flank, where he was immediately taken
under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without
hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advance
directly at the enemy position, enabling his .50
caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.
He then directed his driver into the enemy trench,
where he exited his vehicle and began to clear
the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter
pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with
complete disregard for his safety, twice picked
up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious
When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket
propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to
destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.
When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared
over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more
than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.
text of the message quoted at the head of this page
comes from a 7 May 2004 article
by Bob Lonsberry entitled "SOMETHING THAT DIDN'T MAKE
THE NEWS." The correct attribution for this piece
has been omitted from some of the versions circulated
The Navy Cross
Rochester, N.Y., Marine Receives Navy
15 May 2004
for this page is http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/chontosh.asp
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