Staff Sgt Eric Alva

Staff Sgt. Eric Alva

Staff Sgt. Eric Alva was the first American to be wounded in war in Iraq. On March 21, 2003 Alva stepped on a landmine, sustaining heavy injuries to his leg. It couldn't be saved and was amputated. Alva was medically discharged and awarded a Purple Heart.

On February 28, 2007, Staff Sgt. Alva, Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District and Martin Meehan, D-Mass. and another 107 House members introduced legislation that would repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy against gays in the military.

Alva told Congress, "I'm an American who fought for his country. Who'd have ever guessed the first American wounded was a gay Marine."

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