“Wait a second, this isn’t sweat,” he thought. Mike Mendoza felt the hot blood running down his body and slowly began to realize he was wounded.
Mike had taken a grenade blast to the chest. Shrapnel had ripped through his body and punctured his intestines in multiple areas. With temperatures perpetually over 110º, he could be forgiven for mistaking a near-fatal wound for perspiration.
After what seemed like forever, the medevac extracted Mike and his sniper team to safety.
Mike was rushed to the Fallujah CAS then to Baghdad ER, where he underwent emergency surgery. During his surgeries and his movement from hospital to hospital, the Semper Fi Fund had quietly stepped in and helped his family. They paid expenses, including the costly phone bills incurred when Mendoza’s wife was constantly talking to doctors in Germany to check the prognosis and status of her wounded husband.
Earning his stripes
For his actions during a prior deployment to Iraq with 1st Recon Battalion, Mendoza was awarded the Navy Cross, second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor. His citation reads: