Battle of the Badges Friday night at the Pechanga Resort & Casino

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Cops 4 Kids & Communities and Pechanga Resort & Casino present Battle of the Badges “Not forgotten” on Friday, September 7, 2012. This charity boxing event promises to be a knockout as police officers, correctional officers, fire fighters, members of the US Armed Forces and other public safety members go head to head to raise money for Cops 4 Kids & Communities and other worthy charitable organizations while paying tribute to our heroes.

2010 photo of Corporal Christopher Farias while serving his country in Afghanistan.

Cops 4 Kids & Communities will also be honoring Corporal Christopher Farias. Corporal Farias, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment stationed at Camp Pendleton, was awarded the nation’s second highest award for bravery. After suffering a concussion and fragmentation wounds in the neck and shoulder and receiving hasty treatment for his wounds, he helped direct medical care for his comrades. After securing the wounded, he climbed to a rooftop and controlled the fire of the machine guns to suppress enemy advancement.

His suppressive fire kept the enemy down and allowed a squad to treat the wounded, clear a landing zone, and evacuate the casualties. Farias remained with his squad until an airstrike ended the engagement. A complete SOA (summary of action) is below.

Pro boxer Randy Caballero

Other invited guests include Coachella Valley’s very own Randy “El Matador” Caballero who recently won the WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Title.

Pro boxer Steve “The Mongoose” Quinonez

Also scheduled to appear is boxing champion Steve “The Mongoose” Quinonez from Palm Springs. Quinonez holds the UBF Lightweight Title, WBB Lightweight Title, WBC Fecar Lightweight Title and NABF Lightweight title.

Spectators will also have a chance to meet the great Israel “Magnifico” Vasquez (44-5 with 32 KOs), Armando “El Hombre” Muniz (44-14 with 30 KOs) and Hall of Famer, Danny “Little Red” Lopez (42-6, 39 KOs).

The Venue

Once again Pechanga Resort & Casino hosts this year’s Battle of the Badges in their Grand Ballroom. Pechanga’s donation of their facility and other gifts is worth more than $25,000.

And, the all important Fighters

The brave participants are the men and women of public safety who often go unheralded for their everyday sacrifices to make us all a little safer.

“It is truly amazing to see the courage and dedication these fighters have for this event year after year,” said Jeff Penn, Executive Director and Founder of So Cal Battle of the Badges. Each peace officer will take on their brief role as a Battle of the Badges fighter very seriously and face off in their amateur bouts hoping to have their hand raised in victory.”

In the main event, Jorge “The Bulldog” Salazar (3-0) from the Riverside County Sheriff Department – Murrieta seeks to remain undefeated in his bout against California Department of Corrections-Ironwood Officer Mario “Fattdaddy” Alonzo. These two heavyweights will go toe to toe in what promises to be a war.

Highlighting the 10 undercard bouts, Anthony Camou from the California Highway Patrol and 47 year old Lee Hanger from the Department of Corrections-Ironwood, lace up their gloves for what many believe will be the fight of the night.

Even the ladies have volunteered to put their dukes up.

The Charitable Organization

Cops 4 Kids & Communities is a nonprofit organization founded by Law Enforcement officers and community members throughout Southern California who share the vision of bringing opportunity and positive relationships to at-risk and underprivileged youth living in impoverished neighborhoods. Cops 4 Kids & Communities utilizes the programs and techniques that have been successful at reclaiming even the most challenging children. Their programs are conducted in a structured environment in which kids are valued and adolescents are considered resources rather than problems for their community.

“As you can imagine, nonprofits and schools are facing a fundraising crisis right now,” said Jeff Penn. “This event allows us an opportunity to provide low cost entertainment for the many boxing fans with the added bonus of raising money for our youth. We are doing this without asking for a direct donation from people during these economic times and financial uncertainty.”

Pechanga Resort & Casino Event Center is located at 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, CA. The first bout is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. Ringside seats are only $35, general admission $25. Tickets are available at the Pechanga Resort & Casino Box office or by calling, 1-800-585-3737.

Corporal Christopher Farias



Corporal Christopher Farias is enthusiastically recommended for the Navy Cross for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Assistant Squad Leader, Battery I, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division in Afghanistan, on 5 October 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

At the time, Corporal Farias was serving as an assistant squad leader while participating in a three day patrol operation in the Kajaki District in the Northeastern Helmand Province. This area is highly contested by enemy, and coalition forces and surrounded on three sides by Taliban fighters. Corporal Farias’ squad was on its second day of operations and had begun preparation for an early night ambush as the sun was setting.

That evening two enemy fire teams, having snuck into the area using the tree lines, ambushed the unit with fire from a 73 millimeter recoilless rifle which struck inside the compound where the squad was staging. The enemy then opened fire with a heavy volume of small arms and machine gun fire from three locations, pinning the Marines inside and preventing another squad in the area from maneuvering to assist them.

The high explosive rounds from the recoilless rifle wounded six Marines with fragmentation, four of which were critical to include the squad leader. Another five sustained concussions and fragmentation wounds. Corporal Farias was severely wounded with shrapnel to the neck, shoulder, and back. He also suffered a severe concussion and broken clavicle bone.

Corporal Farias did not hesitate to take action. After picking himself up from the force of the blast, which had knocked him back against the compound wall, he immediately directed the efforts of able Marines in triaging and treating the seriously wounded. As the Taliban opened fire with machine guns he took bold steps to protect the squad, directing Marines to move the severely wounded to cover inside the compound as enemy fire began to pour into the patrol base.

After directing the treatment of the wounded Marines and despite serious wounds to his upper body, Corporal Farias got himself onto the roof of the compound and directed suppressive fire from a M240B machine gun and M249, manned by Marines he directed to join him on the roof. His fearless leadership and presence of mind, with enemy fire impacting all around him, repelled the enemy’s initial assault. Under unrelenting fire from enemy small arms and machine guns, Corporal Farias ignored his own dire situation and continued to expose himself to enemy fire in order to direct fires and engage enemy positions with his own rifle and M203 grenade launcher. After nearly 20 minutes of battle, Corporal Farias noticed four to five enemy personnel maneuvering towards the PB from their flank. He engaged these personnel with his rifle and his remaining four M203 rounds. His unyielding, aggressive leadership in the face of the enemy’s persistent assault repelled the enemy’s continued attack and continually frustrated their attempts to overrun the platoon’s PB.

Corporal Farias’ fearless actions commanded the enemy’s attention and caused his position to become the focus of enemy fire. This allowed the remainder of the platoon to move seven urgent casualties to an emergency helicopter landing zone approximately 600 meters to the north across IED laden terrain while Corporal Farias continued to contend with the enemy’s persistent attack. Because the enemy was focused on the significant threat posed by Corporal Farias, it enabled the medical evacuation helicopter to land, load casualties and depart without incident. Despite his wounds, he maintained suppressive fire throughout the evacuation of the seven urgent casualties. After an airstrike ended the engagement, he maintained his position to provide over watch for personnel sweeping the compound for gear and equipment before retrograding back to the FOB. Only after this was complete did he leave his rooftop perch and evacuate the area. Corporal Farias walked, without aid, nearly two kilometers to a ground evacuation site. He was later evacuated via helicopter due to the severity of his wounds.

Corporal Farias’ swift and courageous actions saved the lives of his fellow Marines under fire from a coordinated and decisive engagement from a determined enemy. His immediate and aggressive tactical response effectively repelled the Taliban ambush from three positions, allowing wounded Marines to be safely evacuated from the kill zone, and preventing the patrol base from being overrun. His disregard for his personal safety and his own wounds in order to evacuate the wounded Marines is truly commendable. His actions were heroic and unselfish, and are highly worthy of being awarded the Navy Cross.

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