Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will present the Navy Cross next week to the family of a Marine who died in Afghanistan after pushing squad mates away from a buried explosive.
Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan, 20, was doing a foot patrol near some cornfields in Afghanistan’s Helmand province Aug. 26, 2009, when he spotted a kite string strung along the road. Somehow sensing the string connected to an improvised explosive device, Hogan threw his body onto a nearby Marine, acting “without hesitation,” according to the Navy Cross citation.
Hogan then yelled at others in their squad to take cover. But the IED detonated, killing the young man from San Clemente, Calif., a member of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, at Camp Pendleton.
“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 citation cites. “Hogan’s extreme act of selflessness saved a Marine’s life and allowed the rest of the squad to avoid the full brunt of the fragmentation” from the IED.
Hogan’s family will receive the posthumous award during a Jan. 17 ceremony Mabus is scheduled to attend that will also include the dedication of the battalion’s newest barracks at Camp San Mateo in the fallen Marine’s honor, 1st Marine Division said in a news release.