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Fri May 28, 2021, 09:53 AM

A fallen Marine's medals were lost for years..until they appeared on an online auction site.

The Wall Street Journal Retweeted

A fallen Marine's medals were lost for years..until they appeared on an online auction site.

Here's the story of his comrades' fight to get them back.

A look at loss, redemption and what it means to remember our war dead.

Semper Fidelis, LCpl. O'Haire

One Last Mission: Return a Fallen Marine’s Purple Heart to His Family

War comrades of LCpl. Walter O’Haire, including a Journal reporter, fought to recover lost decorations from an online auction after they went missing

By Ben Kesling
May 28, 2021 8:02 am ET

I remember the day Lance Corporal Walter O’Haire was killed in Fallujah. Known as Gator to his friends, LCpl. O’Haire was on a rooftop with his squad on a sweltering May afternoon in 2007, watching over fellow Marines on the street below when a sniper hit him about 2 inches below the back of his helmet.

It was a blow to Golf Company, where I was a young lieutenant, the first and only death in our unit during a seven-month deployment in Iraq. At the memorial service on base a few days later, the company first sergeant, equipped with a voice like a force of nature, boomed out the formal roll call. He ritualistically demanded LCpl. Walter O’Haire respond. Three times he called his name, and three times he was met with silence.

Gator’s body arrived back home in Massachusetts on Mother’s Day and he was buried on his 21st birthday. His mom got his medals, including a posthumous Purple Heart, packaged in a handmade display case.

After a few more years in the Marines, I left the service as a captain and became a journalist covering veterans and the Pentagon. My own medals were stored away in a box at home, and my ribbons remain pinned on my old dress blues, provoking occasional questions from my kids.

“Dad, are these prizes from the Marine Corn?” my four-year-old asked me recently.


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Reply A fallen Marine's medals were lost for years..until they appeared on an online auction site. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves May 28 OP
Voltaire2 May 28 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri May 28, 2021, 10:01 AM

1. didn't anyone help him get up?

Why do we use euphemisms for 'killed'? He didn't fall. He got killed. We are society of infants.

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