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September 16, 2005
Mayor Willian Ortegón Gamba is the main character of our history, a man that doesn’t surrender. Not even in the worst circumstances.
He is a 37 year-old man 'married' with his work. He/ remembers that since he was 10 years old he wanted to be a soldier, he studied in a military school, what increased his desire to take this life.
He has been 17 years on service and although he has seen almost everything, the idea of losing men in combat is very difficult for him. "When one of its soldiers dies he feels many things, he feels anger impotence and pain… ". He sees in his soldiers the children that he doesn't have, every day that passes he remembers those that has lost being in operations, but he feels tranquil because he has never abandoned them, shoulder to shoulder he has always fought until the end.
Officer Ortegón is a man that feels proud of the Force to which he belongs; he knows that he is prepared to confront the difficult moments that this work carries. It is the preparation and the passion with which develops his work, which has been useful to liberate several battles.
On January15 2000, Captain Ortegón liberated a battle with death after being wounded in a combat against a Farc faction.
"I cannot die, I cannot leave my men, I cannot defraud my Army… ", he repeated to himself while he carried on combating and encouraging his men, more than 12 hours that the confrontation lasted against the guerillas fighters that tried to isolate the Plain of the rest of the country.
The previous day his unit Commander informed him that guerillas from the 1, 27, 40, 44 and 53 fronts wanted to attack them and take possession of the armament, the Captain Ortegón and their 60 soldiers that conformed the Battery artillery C, had been added by the Battalion 'Fernando Landazabal Reyes' to give fire support. "We acted in response with all that we had".
The attack had begun at four in the morning, the soldiers fought valorously, continually the situation got complicated and the combat was stronger.
At 8:00 in the morning the Captain Ortegón saw how the soldier that was to his side fell dead, when trying to come closer to him Ortegón was hurt by a machinegun blast. "When being wounded, first I felt fury, then sadness and frustration". Combating he felt serene and for moments he forgot the pain.
“"It hurts a lot when the soldiers fall wounded or dead, it impacts me to see the our troops capacity, the courage of our soldiers, the helicopters landing amid the fire, the special forces men coming down the mountain in the middle of combat… ".
It was nine pm and had already lost a lot of blood, he was very badly wounded. The soldiers with which he combated supported the car’s exit up to where the helicopter was, there Captain Ortegón and the other wounded were assisted by the medical team. Later on he was transferred to Bogotá.
"The doctor told me that I was very destroyed inside and he feared it might be infected. I told him: doctor if I haven’t dies since 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, I don't believe that I would die. Do what ever you can for me… ".
Due to his serious wounds he was taken to the Military Hospital in Bogotá, together with a sergeant and a soldier who were also injured in that combat.
Soon after the lesion he has had to accustom to live with the pain that daily feels his stomach. "These are profession’s hazards."
Major Ortegón is a person in love with his work and Colombia he remembers with affection each place and person he has met during his in service. With nostalgia he accepts that some day he will have to retire from the Army, only expects that that day the country is no longer in war, to be able to take a jeep and travel all around the country and feel satisfied by the fulfilled duty.