The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SSG Gregorio M. Garcia, who died in the service of his country on July 31st, 1966 in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Gregorio was 34 years of age. He was from Los Angeles, California. Gregorio is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 09E, Line 91.
The decorations earned by SSG Gregorio M. Garcia include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachute Badge, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Burial: QUEEN OF HEAVEN CEMETERY, ROWLAND HEIGHTS, C
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.
Staff Sergeant Garcia distinguished himself on 31 July 1966 while leading a reconnaissance and security element to his platoon's front during a search and destroy mission. While executing their mission, Staff Sergeant Garcia's unit received intense hostile fire from a Viet Cong company. To prevent the insurgents from executing a flanking maneuver to his right, Staff Sergeant Garcia skillfully maneuvered his men to the left. Although the Viet Cong fire became increasingly intense he led his men forward. As a result, he gave the rest of his platoon and company time and space to organize and maneuver. Throughout the movement forward, Staff Sergeant Garcia continually moved from position to position, giving instructions and encouragement to his comrades. As the platoon maneuver began to take form, an insurgent antitank grenade launcher began to deliver accurate fire to the immediate front of Staff Sergeant Garcia's unit. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Staff Sergeant Garcia immediately organized and personally led his team toward the hostile emplacement. While the remainder of his team provided a base of cover, Staff Sergeant Garcia, with complete disregard for his safety, singlehandedly charged the Viet Cong position. Throwing hand grenades with accuracy, he killed one Viet Cong and forced the insurgents to withdraw and abandon their antitank weapon. As his platoon pressed the attack, they again became pinned down by intense hostile fire, Staff Sergeant Garcia immediately led. his team and employed fire and maneuver tactics. Although he was seriously wounded, Staff Sergeant Garcia continued to aggressively attack until he was mortally wounded. Through his courage and outstanding leadership, he contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission, Staff Sergeant Garcia's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United Stated Army.