CRESTVIEW — “For Military Merit” hardly describes the significance of the Purple Heart Award and The City of Crestview could not be more honored than to have one of its very own citizens, Master Sergeant Ivan Morera Jr., 7th Special Forces Medic, be pinned with the Purple Heart on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the 7th SFG (A) Liberty Chapel, Eglin AFB, FL.
MSG Ivan Morera Jr’s story is a special one, one that is common internally but that the public does not often hear. MSG Morera Jr. was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, where he was one of the convoy drivers sent out to conduct a combat operation. This mission did not go as planned and enroute they were attacked by a Taliban insurgent. MSG Morera Jr. was forced off the road resulting in his vehicle rolling four times. This was phase one of the ambush and phase two consisted of a detonation with many of the team being hit with shrapnel. As the driver of the rollover vehicle, MSG Morera Jr. lost his left dominant hand. For many, they would let this be the end of their story, but for MSG Morera Jr., this was only the next chapter.
Eighteen months after injury he was back conducting his first Airborne operation and within the next 5 years was conducting Military Free Fall (MFF) operations. He is the only upper body amputee on MFF status and the only one-handed medic in the US Military. He is a competitor in the DOD Warrior Games and represents SOCOM (Special Operations Command.) This yearly event is the military version of the Paralympics and is represented by service members who have been wounded in combat, injured in training, or have fallen victim to cancer and other like situations. In the 2021 DOD Warrior Games, MSG Morera Jr. competed in indoor rowing where he placed 1st in the 1-minute row and 2nd in the 4-minute row. He also placed 2nd in shotput, 2nd in the bench press competition, and shot a 167 out of 300 in archery.
Councilman Andrew Rencich had the pleasure of serving alongside MSG Morera Jr. and summed up his time serving with him, “No matter how rainy the day may be, Ivan always persevered and no matter the situation he was always humble and ready to teach.”
MSG Morera Jr’s military education and accolades are extensive and include a Bronze Star (1OLC,) and an Army Commendation Medal (3OLC) along with the addition of the Purple Heart he was recently pinned with. His dedication, drive, and love of family and community are continually shown through his actions and demeanor and someone that The City of Crestview is proud to stand behind and honor.
We invite you to join us at our council meeting on Monday, Dec. 13 at 6pm at City Hall as we honor his service locally.