One of my classmates from the United States Naval Academy Class of 2002 was recently Killed In Action (KIA) while serving in Afghanistan. He was decorated posthumously for his bravery (see citation below).
ATTENTION TO CITATION
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the BRONZE STAR MEDAL posthumously to CAPTAIN MATTHEW C. FREEMAN, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following
For heroic service in connection with combat operations against the enemy as a Fire Support Team Leader and Company Advisor for the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 201st Corps, Afghan National Army. Captain Freeman’s keen judgment and decisive leadership were ever present in all phases of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On 7 August 2009, Captain Freeman engaged in the combined and joint Operation BREST THUNDER in one of the most dangerous areas within the 201st Corps’ Area of Operations, the Shpee Valley of Kapisa Province. The strength of the enemy in the Shpee Valley was estimated to consist of more than eighty insurgents with reports that a large number of reinforcements had recently moved into the area. Acting to conduct a reconnaissance of force in the valley, Captain Freeman’s element received enemy fire almost immediately upon leaving the combat outpost. Pinned down as the result of this fire, Captain Freeman decided to clear a kulat in order to gain access to the top deck and achieve better observation of the enemy’s firing position. Receiving a heavy volume of enemy fire, Captain Freeman led the way in clearing the house and was the first to reach the rooftop. Once on the rooftop, he spotted an enemy Rocket-Propelled Grenade gunman and immediately killed him. He and one of this team members spotted several other insurgents and began to engage while under fire. It was at this time that Captain Freeman fell mortally wounded. He fought with bravery and determination while demonstrating unwavering courage in the face of the enemy. Captain Freeman’s performance of duty in a combat zone reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
News Coverage of his return to his hometown:
See also blog entries from Blogger at Afghanistan: My Last Tour
And here for a brief account of what happened: