On Oct. 26, 2005, a U.S. military convoy was attempting to transport soldiers and contractors to the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Suse when they came under heavy fire from Iraqi troops.
The combat logistics patrol and transportation was being carried out by the 1173rd Transportation Co. of the Virginia National Guard. Sgt. Monica Beltran’s duties that day was as a gunner for a gun truck. Her responsibility was to provide security for the equipment and for the 55 U.S. soldiers and contractors that they were transporting to FOB Suse.
When the convoy came under a very heavy ambush attack, Sgt. Beltran was on the right flank of the convoy. She began “to return maximum suppressive fire while taking heavy fire from multiple enemy small arms and heavy-caliber machine guns and RPGs. Though wounded in the left hand, she continued to lay down heavy suppressive fire to ensure that the rear element of the convoy could pass safely through the mile long kill zone.
For her actions that day she was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device at ceremonies held on Dec. 30, 2005.
Beltran was born in 1985 and is from Prince William County, Virginia. She had lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey before moving to Northern Virginia, where she graduated from Garfield Senior High School. She enlisted in the Virginia National Guard as a teenager, primarily to supplement her tuition cost.
Her awards and decorations include: The Bronze Star with “V” device (she is one of only four women to be awarded so in the U.S. Army), Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Virginia Governor’s National Service Medal. She also wears the Driver and Mechanic Badge and the Marksmanship Badge with one weapon bar.
The Veterans Site sends its congratulations and thanks to Sgt. Monica Beltran for her courage, skill and dedication to duty, in support of her fellow combat brothers and sisters on October 26, 2005 in Iraq. Hooah, good soldier!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.