KIA March 26, 2004
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California
PFC Leroy Sandoval was killed in action as a result of a gunshot wound in Fallujah while manning a machine gun during a battle with Iraqi insurgents. Several Marines were wounded in the clash, but Sandoval’s ability to return fire accurately and quick saved many lives that day. Sandoval was the only member of Platoon Pale Rider 3 to be killed in the firefight. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with a V for Valor for his courageous acts.
Leroy Sandoval might have been small in size, but that did not stop him from pursuing his dreams of being a Marine. According to his family and his platoon commander, Lt. Wade Zirkle, Sandoval was selfless, strong-willed and always stood up for those in need. Sandoval’s time in the Marine Corps was short. Eight months and five days after leaving for boot camp in San Diego, Sandoval deployed to Iraq with Marine Platoon Pale Rider 3. A couple weeks later he was killed in action.
PFC Leroy Sandoval was 21 years old from Houston, Texas
Original portrait was presented November 5, 2011 to his family, friends and comrades during a special event held in Donie, Texas.