- SSG Justin Gallegos Distinguished Service Cross Ceremony
Task Force Resolute received a request to assist in supporting some battle buddies of SSG Justin Gallegos to attend a ceremony to award the Distinguished Service Cross (posthumously) to SSG Gallegos’ son, MacAiden. The ceremony was held on Dec 15, 2018 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. SSG Gallegos was a team leader with Troop B, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th ID. SSG Justin Gallegos was initially posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions that day. His Silver Star was upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross (posthumously).
The ceremony took place in Alaska because MacAiden lives in Sutton, AK with his mother and step-father.
In the early hours of Oct. 3, 2009 an estimated enemy attacked the outpost in Nuristan province, Afghanistan, that was manned by an estimated 50 US forces. When the battle was over the COP (Combat Outpost) had basically burned to the ground and 8 Soldiers, including SSG Gallegos, has given their lives in defense of our nation against the enemy.
The Army awarded 37 Army Commendation Medals with V device for valor, 18 Bronze Stars with V device and nine Silver Stars to soldiers who fought that day. Two soldiers received Medals of Honor, the nation’s highest award for heroism in combat.
“I’m glad he’s been honored. I’m glad he got what he deserved,” 14-year-old MacAiden said.
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Meyer told the audience of more than 600 hundred troops, survivors, and family members that Gallegos earned the Service Cross for repeatedly risking his life to protect and rescue comrades.
“He fired upon the enemy…with a machine gun until it was shot out of his hands,” Meyer said during remarks. “Justin’s reinforcement of the position held it just long enough for the remainder of the platoon to regroup. He bought them the time they needed at the cost of his own life.”
Task Force Resolute is honored to have been able to support the mission of helping to get SSG Gallegos’ battle buddies together to honor him. It was reported back to Task Force Resolute that SSG Gallegos’ son, MacAiden, his mother, Amanda, and all of his battle buddies experienced a great deal of healing by being together for this special ceremony.