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Wesley Leon-Barrientos was born in Guatemala and grew up in Bakersfield, CA. After the events of September 11,2001 he enlisted in the U.S. Army in the 4th Infantry Division, and did his 1st tour of duty to IRAQ from 2003-2004.
He reenlisted in November 2004 and in 2005 he was assigned as a Machine Gunner with C Company 2nd Battalion/502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and was deployed to IRAQ for a 2nd tour of duty on September 2005 to an area just Southwest of Baghdad called “The Sunni Triangle of Death”. His unit was in charge of bringing peace to a region that was controlled by the enemy in the town of Sadr Al Yusufiyah. While on his second tour of duty his unit suffered a very high number of casualties and he was wounded twice.
Immediately after his Units return, they were informed that they were going on another deployment to Iraq in less than 12 months. After training his fire team for almost a year the orders came in and on OCTOBER 2007, he shipped out on his third tour of duty to Iraq. On DECEMBER 20, 2007, while he as returning to his Forward Operating Base after a long mission, his vehicle was hit again by an improvised explosive device, where he was severely wounded and had both legs amputated.
Corporal Barrientos arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on December 23, 2007 where he spent 18 months recovering from his injuries. He pushed himself during his recovery and managed to start walking 3 ½ months after he was wounded and begin to run 2 weeks before the 6th month mark.
While completing his rehabilitation at the hospital, his daughter Brianna was born on January 18, 2009, 13 months after he was wounded. After an 18 month recovery with a lot of help from Family, Friends, Community, and Staff he was able to return home for good. Now he is back in Bakersfield, CA and he volunteers his time to many organizations to serve his community and his fellow veterans as he served his country.
Bakersfield College is proud that Cpl. Barreintos is a current student at BC, and the first President of our newly formed Veteran’s Club.
He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Wounded Heroes Fund and has started his own foundation called LIFE OVER LEGS to help motivate and inspire our youth, disabled Veterans and Civilians.
His military awards include the Combat Infantry Badge, 3 Purple Hearts, 5 Army Commendation Medals, and 2 Army Good Conduct Medals.