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Eyes out for IEDs.

CAVALRY scouts are the commander's eyes and ears on the battlefield. In Iraq, that battlefield is often the local highways and roads.

Performing his wartime mission in an unfamiliar environment, PVT Martin Gaymon, a cavalry scout with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, used his eyes to spot an improvised explosive device while traveling along Route Tampa in Baghdad.

Gaymon, sitting in the gunner's seat of his Humvee, spotted the IED after three others vehicles in his convoy drove past the device.

"I screamed to my driver, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa! I think I see an IED! I think I see an IED!'" Gaymon recalled.

His intuition was correct--there was a green box along the side of the road with red wires attached to it and barely concealed under sandbags. The convoy blocked off the area to prevent other vehicles from entering the road.

After the 3rd ACR was relieved by another unit, the IED was detonated remotely. There was no damage to vehicles or personnel.

Gaymon was later awarded an Army Commendation Medal by 3rd ACR commander COL H.R. McMaster, who praised the 19-year-old Soldier for his quick thinking and for possibly saving lives.

"I don't think what I did was heroic," Gaymon said. "I was just doing what I've been trained to do. You know, I was just doing my job."

"If you don't speak up when you see something, you just killed somebody," said SSG Jeffery Marjerrison, section sergeant of the Personal Security Detachment. "There is nothing you can say about what Gaymon did except it was good soldiering. It was an outstanding effort and he wasn't afraid to speak up."

Marjerrison was the vehicle commander of Gaymon's vehicle. He said scouts are trained to recognize combat vehicles as a threat, but the IEDs pose a totally different threat and the scouts have to be ready to combat that.

"His actions prove that his training has paid off so far," Marjerrison added. "Gunners aren't just scanning for people, they're also looking for IEDs."

He said Gaymon's role as a gunner is one normally performed by a more senior trooper.

"He's filling a sergeant's position, and he's only a private," Marjerrison said. "He's doing the job of someone a few ranks ahead of him."

Slapping Gaymon on the shoulder before the award ceremony, his platoon sergeant, SSG Matthew Hodges, proudly said: "You might have saved somebody's life that day."

SFC Donald Sparks is with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs Office.
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Title Annotation:Focus on People; Private Martin Gaymon spots in improvised explosive device
Author:Sparks, Donald
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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