Fallen Heroes from Leadville

Edgar Lee McWethy Jr.

Rank and organization: Specialist Fifth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 June 1967. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Born: 22 November 1944, Leadville, Colo. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Serving as a medical aidman with Company B, Sp5c. McWethy accompanied his platoon to the site of a downed helicopter. Shortly after the platoon established a defensive perimeter around the aircraft, a large enemy force attacked the position from 3 sides with a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire and grenades. The platoon leader and his radio operator were wounded almost immediately, and Sp5c. McWethy rushed across the fire-swept area to their assistance. Although he could not help the mortally wounded radio operator, Sp5c. McWethy's timely first aid enabled the platoon leader to retain command during this critical period. Hearing a call for aid, Sp5c. McWethy started across the open toward the injured men, but was wounded in the head and knocked to the ground. He regained his feet and continued on but was hit again, this time in the leg. Struggling onward despite his wounds, he gained the side of his comrades and treated their injuries. Observing another fallen rifleman lying in an exposed position raked by enemy fire, Sp5c. McWethy moved toward him without hesitation. Although the enemy fire wounded him a third time, Sp5c. McWethy reached his fallen companion. Though weakened and in extreme pain,Sp5c. McWethy gave the wounded man artificial respiration but suffered a fourth and fatal wound. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and demonstrated concern for his fellow soldiers, Sp5c. McWethy inspired the members of his platoon and contributed in great measure to their successful defense of the position and the ultimate rout of the enemy force. Sp5c. McWethy's profound sense of duty, bravery, and his willingness to accept extraordinary risks in order to help the men of his unit are characteristic of the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.

Read more on the Home of Heroes website.

Nicklas James Palmer

"Mr. President, I rise to commemorate the life and service of a young marine from Leadville, CO: Marine Lance Corporal Nicklas James Palmer. Lance Corporal Palmer was killed last month in Fallujah, Iraq.

Nick Palmer was only 19 years old when he was taken from his family in Iraq. But he was serving his Nation with honor and distinction as a marine, something he had dreamed of doing as a high school student in Lake County.

Nick Palmer came to the State of Colorado as a boy, and in 2005 when he graduated from Lake County High School, he was a man prepared to find his place in the world. In high school, Nick was a football player who lettered all 4 years with the Lake County High varsity squad, a lineman to be precise.

I have known a few linemen in my day, and it tells us all something about his character and why he was drawn to the Marine Corps: Nick Palmer was a man who knew that there was tough work to be done, that it required leadership, physical skill and courage and that he was the right man for the job.

The Marine Corps was a natural fit for Nick Palmer. It was physical and independent, and allowed him the opportunity to become a leader. In fact, Nick prepared for Marine Corps boot camp by taking 10-mile runs with a 40-pound pack on his back, determined to be the finest recruit at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.

That is a lineman's mentality, and it is the steel at the very core of the U.S. Marine Corps: Through discipline, one achieves excellence.

Nick Palmer was not solely a man of serious character. His family, classmates, teachers, and community all reflected that he was a young man who always had a smile for a friend and saw the laughs to be had in life. He was a loyal friend, an independent young man who was always prepared to lend a hand or take the lead.

Lance Corporal Palmer was anxious to get to Iraq, to begin his service to his Nation. His time with the Marine Corps was marked by his continuing leadership: Lance Corporal Palmer's commanding officer in Iraq noted that he was never afraid to step forward and say, 'I'll do it'.

It was that spirit that moved Nick Palmer to serve this Nation in the first place as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. His character, leadership, and courage exemplified that sacred motto of the Marines: Semper Fi. Always Faithful.

To Nick's mother and father, Brad and Rachele, and his brother Dustin, know that you and Nick will remain in the thoughts and prayers of an entire Nation. We are honored by his service, we are humbled by his sacrifice, and we are forever grateful for his courage and character."