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For Immediate Release — October 14, 2008 | Americas
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PEACHTREE CITY, GA — October 14, 2008 — Dr. Elaine Beraza, Director, Department of Defense (DoD) Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) and Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Cuba, (DoDDS-Cuba) announced today that the new elementary school at Fort Bragg will honor the memory of Master Sergeant Gary Ivan Gordon, United States Army, Medal of Honor recipient.

The Gary Ivan Gordon Elementary School is located in Fort Bragg’s Linden Oaks housing area and will serve approximately 550 students, prekindergarten through fifth grade. School administrators hope to occupy the facility the first of November and open their doors to students following the winter break.

Gordon was one of 18 U.S. Army Special Forces troops killed in a firefight with militiamen in Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. He distinguished himself by actions above and beyond the call of duty, while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command with Task Force Ranger. Gordon’s sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites, while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When he and his fellow sniper learned that ground forces were hopelessly delayed, they volunteered to be lowered close to the crash site. They fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically wounded crew. Gordon pulled the pilot and other crew members from the wreckage and established a perimeter, placing himself and his fellow sniper in a most vulnerable position. Gordon used his long range rifle and side arm to kill countless numbers of attackers and then returned to the wreckage to recover weapons and more ammunition. He continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his
team member was fatally wounded and he was out of ammunition, he returned one last time to the wreckage where he retrieved a rifle with five rounds of ammunition and gave it to the pilot with words, “good luck.” Then, armed with only his pistol, Gordon continued to fight until he was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life.

Gary Gordon was born in Lincoln, Maine, in 1960. He graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in 1978 and joined the U.S. Army at age 17. Friends and colleagues remember Gary Gordon for his extraordinary heroism and as a gentle husband and father who filled notebooks with stories for his two young children.

“His life and deeds are an example to all, and we wish to honor his memory through this memorialization,” said Dr. Emily Marsh, Fort Bragg Assistant Superintendent. “In so doing, children at Fort Bragg, for years to come, will have the opportunity to learn about this man of uncommon valor and emulate his courage and selflessness.”

**Editor’s Note: The book, “Black Hawk Down,” a 1999 book by Mark Bowden and the movie “Black Hawk Down,”a 2001 film adaptation of Mark Bowden's book, directed by Ridley Scott, depict Gordon and his fellow sniper’s actions.