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Operation Iraqi Freedom


Sergeant 437th Medical Company (Ambulance)

3rd Medical Command U.S. Army


August 17, 1981 – June 19, 2003


Santa Fe Springs, California


Paul Nakamura lost his life as he attempted to save another’s. Nakamura grew up in the city of Santa Fe Springs, CA and was described as a boy who was outgoing, gregarious and a risk taker. His passion was being in the water and was a member of his high school’s water polo and swim teams. He would also work for the city as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the town’s aquatic center.


Nakamura’s patriotism led to his joining the Army Reserve in 2000 and after basic combat training he completed the Army medic course. “He was the smallest soldier in our platoon but there was nothing small about him.” recalled a fellow soldier.


In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nakamura was killed when his ambulance was hit by a rocket propelled grenade on a highway in Ai Iskandariyah, Iraq. Nakamura was awarded the Combat Medic Badge and the Bronze Star Medal.

In 2014, the headquarters building of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, located at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, was named the Sgt. Paul T. Nakamura Building

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