The family of a fallen Marine who saved his squad mates from the blast of a buried explosive in Afghanistan will be presented the Navy Cross on Jan. 17.
Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan, 20, was able to push aside and alert fellow Marines before he was killed by the device that he spotted while on foot patrol in Helmand Province in 2009, a news release from Camp Pendleton said.
“This desperate attempt to warn the rest of the patrol bought the remaining Marines valuable seconds to begin moving away from the improvised explosive device before it detonated,” the medal citation states.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will present the Navy Cross to his parents, Jim and Carla Hogan of San Clemente, Calif.
"It's really a great honor that they've extended him, especially considering that it's a society that has so many brave guys," Jim Hogan told the Orange County Register on Tuesday. "It's really humbling for us."
The Navy Cross is the Deparment of Navy's highest decoration.
The Hogans, it turns out, are accustomed to giving back themselves. Through a charity they call the San Clemente Marine Corps Support Group, they have shipped some 40,000 pairs of socks to U.S. forces overseas through the "Socks for Heroes" program, Jim said.
"Just shy of 3½ tons," he told the Register.
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