2006 Regular Session
By: Representative Ellis, Gibbs, Harrison
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING CORPORAL MELVIN JEROME GATEWOOD FOR BEING AWARDED THE PURPLE HEART AND PRAISING HIM FOR HIS BRAVE SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY DURING THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ.
WHEREAS, Corporal Melvin Jerome Gatewood was awarded the Purple Heart for his brave service to the United States while serving in the war against Iraq and surviving injuries during battle; and
WHEREAS, he is the son of Ms. Mildred Gatewood Smith and Mr. Ronald L. Gatewood, Sr.; and
WHEREAS, on April 19, 2005, Corporal Gatewood, a member of Columbus-based Battery A of the 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery in Starkville, was wounded near Baghdad, Iraq, when a roadside improvised explosive device detonated near the Humvee in which he was a passenger; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the detonation, the Humvee flipped and caught fire causing Corporal Gatewood to suffer burns to his hands and back; two other Columbus men, Sergeant Wyman H. Jones and Private First Class Stephen B. Brooks, were injured; and one man, Staff Sergeant Tommy A. Little, of Aliceville, Alabama, was killed in the attack; and
WHEREAS, in spite of his wounds, Corporal Gatewood went back to rescue other wounded soldiers from the blazing Humvee; and
WHEREAS, after witnessing the rescues, Captain David Martian, Corporal Gatewood's commander, credited Corporal Gatewood's bravery for giving him "the strength to do everything he did" that day as commander, and has written Corporal Gatewood's mother stating that her son "is quite a man"; and
WHEREAS, this decorated soldier began giving his time, talent and skills to the citizens of Mississippi in April 2000 when he served as a page for Representative Tyrone Ellis; and
WHEREAS, many other military honors have been bestowed upon Corporal Gatewood, such as the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device and the Iraq Campaign Medal; and
WHEREAS, service in the military is a family affair for the Gatewoods, as his brother, Ronald Lynn Gatewood, Jr., and two cousins, Sampson Edmond, III, and Sergeant Terrence A. Elizenberry are currently serving in the war; and
WHEREAS, Corporal Gatewood acknowledges that "being so young and far from home was a challenge"; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and pay special tribute to extraordinary men such as Corporal Gatewood who have fought for the security of our nation:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do commend and congratulate Corporal Melvin Jerome Gatewood for being awarded the Purple Heart and praise him for his bravery as a soldier in the United States Army during the Iraqi War.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Corporal Melvin Jerome Gatewood and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.