Lance Corporal Donald Hogan, Marine Hero

I am sitting in my home away from home, Panera Bread. The traffic outside is all jerky bumpers and tire shrieks. A bummy dude with an expensive laptop sprawls a seat five feet from me. I finish reading this moving post on the Marine Corps and continue my duck hunt through the web for interesting stories to share. Posts, articles, pictures that capture me, waiting for me to do the same to them.

Then this story waves at me and I know I have to salute a great hero:

A Marine who died from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan was awarded the highest honor given to members of the Corps for his heroic actions as he hurled his body into a fellow serviceman and warned the rest of the his squad of the blast.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Tuesday that 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan is “now part of Marine lore along with the great heroes of the Corps” as he presented the fallen hero’s parents with the Navy Cross. He said his actions placed him among the “bravest and finest” in the Marines.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presents the Navy Cross posthumously to the parents of Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan

Thank you Lance Corporal. I can’t say much else. Other than, this chokes me up:

Hogan spotted a kite string on the road go taut in Taliban territory, a sign that a roadside bomb was about to go off. He flew into action, hurling his body into a fellow Marine and then running to the road to yell a warning to the rest of his squad before the blast killed him.

Hogan had wanted to join the Marine Corps since he was a young boy.

His father, Jim Hogan, said he was always proud of his son for following in the footsteps of his father, a Marine veteran of three wars from World War II to Vietnam. Speaking at the morning ceremony, Hogan thanked the Marine Corps for helping his son fulfill his lifelong dream.

“We will always be grateful,” Jim Hogan said.

Grace in action, both the son and the parents.

Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan

And then two thoughts filter in simultaneously. 1) I want to tell this shifty bum next to me to sit up and read of Lance Corporal Donald Hogan’s heroics. It cannot be but inspiring. And 2) I silently promise that if I am ever given the opportunity to assist a family, a wife, parents, kids, any relative of any of our fallen heroes, that I would do anything within my power. Gladly. Cut their lawn, tutor them in geometry, walk their dog. Yes, this and more. May God show me the way if it is to be. That is all.

27 thoughts on “Lance Corporal Donald Hogan, Marine Hero”

  1. Uplifting. Sad. Moving. Inspiring. And once again something that leaves me wondering what magical alchemy creates these special people. How can a 20 year old have so much substance and courage? And what a loss that this 20 year old didn’t get to go on to raise the next generation of very special people.

    I sometimes try to tell myself, “Maybe this young man was always fated to die at 20. But his life choice meant that he died doing something very important, rather than getting into a car wreck or a bar brawl or falling off a mountain doing extreme skiing.” I’d like to think that there is a grand plan, especially for people with this kind of courage.

  2. What a fine young man; his life was far too short; God must have had plans for him…God bless his parents as well…very touching, Navy One…usually we all see people like you mention in your essay we’d like to smack some sense into for some unknown and indescribable reason…one day none of it will matter…what goes around, comes around…always will…remember…k

  3. It is sad that only a few of us understand the significance and meaning of his sacrifice. Semper Fi Lance Cpl. Hogan…Well done, lad. You may now relieve the guard at the Pearly Gates.

  4. I always find these stories both moving, sad and puzzling. Yes puzzling.

    The way these medals are handed out seem to be a toss of the coin. And please do not misunderstand me. I am NOT saying that Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan is not worthy of such recognition. What I AM saying is that others have walked similar hazards on the foreign battle field and recived much less.

    Search our American Hero (Sgt Buddy James Hughie) and let me know what you think.

    I have much more I could say on this subject but this is not the place. Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan has earned his place in history.

  5. Michael: These things puzzle me too. I can only say after reading of Sgt Buddy James Hughie, that he is among our best. God bless him. . .
    Jim: So true.

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