------- Fallen -------
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Rifleman, First Platoon, Company L, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, from 9 November 2004 to 18 November 2004, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 03-05. Throughout nine days of high intensity urban combat in Fallujah, Corporal Stokes fought as his unit's point man, requiring him to repeatedly be the first man to engage enemy forces. On 9 and 11 November, Corporal Stokes led a four-man element into a building held by armed enemy. As they entered the building, his element was engaged with automatic rifle fire from within. Fearless in the face of danger, Corporal Stokes pressed forward in the close confines of the building against the enemy fire and killed the insurgent before his fellow Marines could be injured. On 17 November, an enemy hand grenade exploded beneath Corporal Stokes as he cleared a small house, severely wounding him. Though dazed and wounded from the blast, and rather than attempting to save himself and exit the building, he chose to ensure the Marines around him were protected and began suppressing the enemy within the house with his rifle. The fire he provided allowed the rest of his team to reach a covered position outside the house, where they organized an assault and reentered the building, killing the enemy in a counterattack. Corporal Stokes fought through Fallujah with the resolve of closing on the enemy, while protecting the Marines around him at all costs. By his extraordinary heroism in the face of extreme danger, zealous initiative, and exceptional dedication to duty, Corporal Stokes reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.