March 3, 2010

Marne Hero of the North

Story by Staff Sgt. Christina Turnipseed

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq — Spc. Melvin Lopez-Onna of 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division of El Paso, Texas, was chosen to be the Task Force Marne Hero of the North in Kirkuk, Iraq, for the week, Feb. 14 through Feb 20.

According to the 1-37 AR fox company Chain of Command submission, Lopez-Onna has been an invaluable asset to the F Company mission since arriving in theater. As an 88M Motor Vehicle Operator he has been a crucial part of the support mission at Joint Security Station McHenry. He is also a member of the on-call recovery team that is always available and on the ready to push outside the wire and recover friendly assets. Lopez-Onna has performed above and beyond his echelon with professionalism and motivation.

In addition to working on and operating the Heavy Equipment Transporter, Lopez-Onna has become proficient on the 6K Forklift, KALMAR (WRCH) used to move large storage containers and the BOBCAT tractor ensuring that we are able to continue logistical support at JSS McHenry. Furthermore, as a committed soldier in F Company, Lopez-Onna has always been willing to assist other soldiers in training on all the Distribution Support Vehicles. Lopez-Onna is another spectacular example of Renegades resiliency and effort to support which is why he is recommended as the Task Force Marne Hero of the North.

This is Lopez-Onna's first deployment and he has served in the United States Army as an 88M (Motor Transport Operator) for two years.

Lopez-Onna's who is from Memphis, Tenn., is married to Andrea Jantz-Lopez. Their children's names are Bailei (daughter), James and Noah with one child on the way, due July 2010.

Lopez-Onna is praised by his command for being dedicated to his unit on a daily basis.

"Spc. Lopez-Onna has a great attitude and work ethic that has shown to be infectious to the Soldiers around him, creating a highly productive and pleasurable work environment," said Sgt. 1st Class Ronnie J. Williamson of 1-37th Aromor.

Lopez-Onna contributes his good work ethic to his father.

"I was always taught through my father's example to try and be the best at everything I did," said Lopez-Onna.

In addition, Lopez-Onna takes the time to thank those back home and encourage his fellow Soldiers.

"To those in my hometown, I will see you all soon, thank for your support. To other Soldiers who are deployed, hang in there, fight the good fight.

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