Staff Sgt. Eric Alva was the first American to be wounded in war in Iraq. On March 21, 2003 Alva stepped on a landmine, sustaining heavy injuries to his leg. It couldn't be saved and was amputated. Alva was medically discharged and awarded a Purple Heart.
On February 28, 2007, Staff Sgt. Alva, Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District and Martin Meehan, D-Mass. and another 107 House members introduced legislation that would repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy against gays in the military.
Eric Alva is a native of San Antonio, TX. He joined the marines at age 19 and was a member of the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Marines.