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Cpl Ivan M Perez

Conover, Wisconsin

5th Infantry Division

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From James Sicard 06/29/06

My name is James Sicard, I was a part of the invasion of Panama. I was with 3rd Plt Co C 1st Bn 75th Ranger Regt. I remember Markwell, James W, he was a medic newly arrived to the unit. The only reason I remember him is that he came up to my platoon floor to talk to our medic for some guidance on what to pack for the mission. That was the last time I saw him alive. I heard of his death the day after the invasion. Itís hard to lose anyone to war but it was a little harder for me because I saw him alive just a day or two before. James will never be forgotten.

On another note, I was sent home after we returned from Panama on leave because I was slatted to attend Ranger School. While I was home I heard that a local boy who served in the invasion had gotten killed, his name was Perez, Ivan M. I read reports in the local paper about him. I felt compelled to get in contact with the family and the only reason I can think of for doing this is because I was there and I could give some comfort to the family in some crazy way. So I call the paper and got the address and made arrangements to meet the family. They were a Spanish family and spoke very little English except one of the daughters, so I had to go thru her for everything. I was one of the hardest things that I ever did. The emotions were running crazy in my mind, I was sad, angry and just full of mixed emotions. I tried to bring a good light on the whole thing. I told them there son didnít die for nothing and I just had to come and speak with them to put there emotions at ease. Tears were shed on both sides, it felt good to share with them my experience and theirs with myself. Being single and 20 years old at the time I really didnít grasp the whole idea of death. Now Iím 37 yrs old and married with 4 kids. I really now know what both the Markwell and Perez families went thru as parents. I couldnít imagine the loss of a loved one but I can understand the pain and heartache. God bless them all.

Just to close the message, I was just surfing the net about the invasion and I came across this link. I donít know why I telling this story now. I havenít told but a hand full of people this story. But I it feels good to talk about it.

Good bye

 
  From Mary Lamphere 01/08/07:

I served with Cpl. Ivan Perez and B Co. 4/6 Inf. durring Operation Just Cause. I remember Ivan as a very friendly, highly respected
and very popular, I think the whole Company would remembers him; I only knew him casually. He was also much fun when we were able to
get ot and do some partying. Remember throwing down with the Air Foce Cops at the Howard NCO club and the dash for the Duces.
He also helped teach all of us to swear in Spanish during our Spanish classes. Anyway it was a hell of a firefight, to bad the Kevlar
CVC didn't quite make it down the chain. Ivan was Track Comander on a M 113 and manned the .50 cal machine gun. Those boys
did some damage. I believe he was killed during a near ambush when we were blocked on 4th of July Avenue at the beginning of the the assault on the Commandancia. I thank the gentleman for visiting his family.

 
  From Pvt Charles H Silas 03/11/09:

My name is private Charles Harrison Silas of !st Platoom Bravo co 4/6 infantry Bulldogs. I served With Ivan At Ft polk and in panama. He and cpl howard were two of my best friends. I Drove a 113 the night of the invasion and as a private I was so scared. Ivan gave me his extra set of clear lenses for our googles and said give them back to me when we get back. We cammoed up wih the tiger stripe pattern. and that was the last time I saw him. But the smile that was on his face made me remember that bravo co was not just about being a soldier it was about being a friend.

Bulldogs!!

 
  From William Curtis 10/10/10:

I was one of four marine LAVs attached to an army unit in Panama City during Operation Just Cause. On the first night (early morning) of Dec 20th my vehicle came up to an intersection where I remember an M113 across the street from me, and a soldier manning a barbed wire string across the road. Best I can remember with the help of google maps, it was where Avenida de los Martires curves into Jose F de la Ossa. At some point we received what sounded like heavy AK47 fire from the buildings ( I think ). I swung and machine gunned that whole building on the side of the road, and another M113 (or maybe sheridan) opened up with me too. Afterward, I saw that the soldier manning the wire was down in the gutter bleeding heavily, and it looked like the M113 track gunner fell down in his track. Those two soldiers I saw might have been either Pvt. Scott, or Cpl. Perez (or both?). At the time, it looked to me like both of the soldiers I saw were probably killed. I wonder if they were two of the soldiers mentioned in your website.

William Curtis
D Co., 2nd LAI Battalion, 2nd MARDIV

 
   
   
   

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