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Military Hero: Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Praxedes

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Thomas Praxedes was born on September 29th, 1985 in Los Angeles, California and enlisted into the Marine Corps on September 8th, 2003. After graduating recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CA, Private Praxedes reported to the School of Infantry (West) for the military occupational specialty of 0331 Machine Gunner.

Upon completion of school in March of 2004, Private First Class Praxedes received orders to report to Company L, 3rd Battalion 1st Marines. On June of 2004 Private First Class Praxedes was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal and then deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom II as a machine gun team leader and participated in Operation Phantom Fury, the battle for Fallujah. Upon returning from his deployment in January of 2005, LCpl Praxedes was assigned as a Machine Gun squad leader and attended the Machine Gun Leaders Course. On September of 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III to Haditha, Iraq as a Rifle Squad leader. Upon his return from his deployment in April 2006, Corporal Praxedes was assigned the billet of section leader and stayed with the battalion till he received orders to recruiting duty on June 2007.

On June 2007, Corporal Praxedes reported to Recruiter School at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and was assigned to Recruiting Station Orange County. On September 2007 Corporal Praxedes was promoted to Sergeant and checked into Recruiting Station Orange County, Recruiting Substation Mission Viejo. During his time on recruiting duty, Sergeant Praxedes was named “Rookie Recruiter of the Year” for Fiscal Year 2009 and was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant. Upon promotion he became the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of Recruiting Substation Mission Viejo and was named “Standard Station of the year” and “Superior Achiever of the Year” for Fiscal Year 2010.

Upon completion of his duty, Staff Sergeant Praxedes received orders to 1st Battalion 5th Marines on June 2010. He served as a Rifle Platoon Sergeant for Alpha Company while deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan in March, 2011. Upon return from his deployment on October 2011, he was temporarily assigned to 1st Marine Division Schools to be the Machine Gun Chief Instructor. On September 2012, he was recalled back to the battalion to deploy in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit as a Rifle Platoon Sergeant with Charlie Company. Upon his return from the 31st MEU in June 2013, Staff Sergeant Praxedes attended the Career Course in August of 2013 where he graduated as a Distinguished Graduate and the “Gung Ho” Recipient.

On October of 2013, Staff Sergeant Praxedes reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego to attend Recruiter School. On January 2014 Staff Sergeant Praxedes reported to RS Orange County, where he currently serves as the Assistant Recruiter Instructor.

Gunnery Sergeant Praxedes personal decorations include the Purple Heart (2nd Award), Navy and Marine Corp Commendation medal with “V” (1 gold star), Navy Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon (2nd Award).

Gunnery Sergeant Praxedes is married to Roxanne Praxedes with 2 children Christopher and Areiya.

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