Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Mattis Urged To Consider Award Upgrade For Marine Officer's Heroic Last Stand
Congressman Duncan Hunter, Republican from California, has sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis asking him to upgrade a Silver Star award to a Navy Cross for Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion in light of what he called "new material evidence."
Manion was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions while serving on a Military Transition Team in Iraq on April 29, 2007. According to his original award citation, Manion exposed himself to enemy fire while attempting to cover wounded Marines as they took fire from three sides, drawing insurgent fire away from the wounded until he himself was shot by an enemy sniper.
He was originally recommended for the Navy Cross before ultimately being awarded the Silver Star, the third highest award for valor.
Evidence supporting an upgrade, according to Hunter, includes a signed witness statement from Staff Sgt. Paul D. Petty, who wrote after the battle that Manion continued to fire between 210 and 300 rounds from his M4 carbine and an M203 grenade launcher at the enemy even after he was mortally wounded.
That information was apparently not included in his original award recommendation, according to Ryan Manion, the Marine's sister, who now serves as president of the Travis Manion Foundation.
Petty closed his statement by saying that Manion's "well-aimed precision fire, decisive leadership, and selfless action aided in the preservation of life and helped counter the ambush." This added to Manion's original award narrative, which said the officer "ultimately saved the lives of every member of his patrol."
"He was originally put in for a Navy Cross, so there's definitely been 10 years of wondering why [his award] was downgraded," Ryan Manion said. "I'm glad that there is a review being done to find that out, especially with this new evidence ... and I'm hopeful that this can eventually be upgraded."
A former Marine officer himself, Rep. Hunter has often taken up the cause of reviewing military awards. In 2011, he asked the Pentagon to look into possible upgrades for service members that may have been overlooked for higher awards, to include Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe. He's also pushed to upgrade the Navy Cross to a Medal of Honor for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta.
In an email statement, Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Michael P. Cody confirmed receipt of Hunter's letter, but added that since "the information-gathering process could take some time, it is too soon to say what the outcome of the request will be."
This article was updated with comment from the Pentagon 7/16 2:13 p.m. PDT.
Trump claims border wall is under construction 'right now' using fence repair footage from 5 months ago
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
Group of American vets detained in Haiti on weapons charges brought back to US, arrested upon landing
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.