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James Michael Lopez

Home of record: Globe Arizona
Status: POW


Prisoner of War Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

Sergeant James Michael Lopez, United States Marine Corps, was held hostage in Iran from 4 November 1979 to 20 January 1981, while serving with the Marine Security Guard Detachment, United States Embassy, Teheran, Iran. He was among the sixty-five Americans taken prisoner and held in captivity for 444 days by armed Iranian terrorists who were directly supported by the Government of Iran. During this period of confinement, the Marines and other hostages were subjected to abominable conditions and constant harassment from their captors. The hostages were continuously used in several forms of propaganda such as being paraded in front of media cameras while blind folded and hands tied behind their backs. Throughout the duration of their captivity, the hostages were held in conditions comparable to those under which persons have generally been held captive by enemy forces during periods of armed conflict. Despite the harsh conditions, the Marines continuously provided an example for all other Americans to emulate through their adherence to the Code of Conduct and unfaltering esprit de corps. The motivation and positive attitude of the Marines throughout this ordeal provided many of the other hostages with the necessary leadership and courage to endure the captivity successfully. In all thirteen cases, these Marines exemplified the professional conduct, devotion, and dignity that was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: November 4, 1979 - January 20, 1981

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Division: Prisoner of War (Iran)