Valor Friday

| December 20, 2019

Today’s Valor Friday salutes Lance Cpl. Donald J. Hogan, a young Marine serving in Afghanistan, and his selfless act of heroism.

Donald Hogan learned about military service from his grandfather James Hogan Sr., a Marine gunnery sergeant who served in World War II, Vietnam and the Korean War, said Lt. Col. Terry M. Johnson, commanding officer of Hogan’s 1st Marines, 5th Battalion. A young Donald would pore over copies of his grandfather’s Leatherneck Magazine and hide them under his pillow to read at night, the lieutenant colonel said.

Donald Hogan was the middle of three children and adopted by his parents at age 5 with his brother Christopher at age 7 and sister Adrianna at age 4. Jim and Carla Hogan took in the trio together, an all or nothing proposition, Mabus noted.

As the secretary put it, the lance corporal learned the value of giving at home.

“Courage and self sacrifice were common elements in the life and loss of Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan,” the secretary of the Navy said.

The Hogans moved from Rancho Santa Margarita to San Clemente when their son was in high school, but he continued on at Tesoro High School. Johnson said fellow Marines described the lance corporal as “a heart bigger than life, generous, an unwavering commitment to fellow Marines, loyal, selfless, always with a smile.”

For extraordinary heroism while serving as rifleman, second platoon, Company A, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7. Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, on August 26, 2009. While on a dismounted patrol in Helmand Province, Lance Corporal Hogan’s squad came under attack from the enemy fighter attempting to command-detonate a directional fragmentation improvised explosive device. Lance Corporal Hogan observed a kite string leading onto the road from an adjacent corn field being pulled taut in an attempt to activate the improvised explosive device. Familiar with this common enemy tactic, he immediately recognized that the attack was imminent and that he had only moments to react. Without hesitation, Lance Corporal Hogan hurled his body into the nearest Marine in an effort to keep him from the effects of the imminent explosion. He then turned in the direction of the improvised explosive device and placed himself in the road so that he could effectively yell verbal warnings to the rest of his squad-mates. This desperate effort 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. Mortally wounded by the explosion, Lance Corporal 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 improvised explosive device. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Hogan reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Services.

Hand Salute. Ready, Two!

Refs: Voice of the OC , San Clemente Times

Category: Afghanistan, Marines, The Warrior Code, Valor

Comments (3)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    Moving story. Too early in the morning. Or something.

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Where dahell did all this pollen come from? It’s not spring. Maybe the dust from the air filters?

    “…no greater love…” Bravo Zulu and HOOOAAH Marine Lance Corporal Donald Hogan.

    “All bat-trees, fire by the piece from right to left…PREPARE…Commence Firing…Secure the guns…PRESENT ARMS!”

  3. Dragoon 45 says:

    From the citation, this young man should be nominated for the Medal of Honor. I hope the Marine Corps is doing the right thing and this is just the initial award for valor, with the paperwork already in motion for the MoH.