Capt Garrett T. Lawton
August 4, 2008
Please note that Captain Garret T. Lawton was from Beaufort, SC. Information released by the Marine Corps incorrectly listed him from Charleston WV, which is why the articles below are now corrected.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Marine from Charleston, West Virginia Beaufort, SC, was killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
According to a news release from the Department of Defense, 31-year-old Captain Garrett Lawton died Monday during combat operations in Herat province, Afghanistan.
Lawton was assigned to U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Here is Captain Lawton's career information from the DOD:
Lawton joined the Marine Corps on June 3, 1996 and was trained as a Qualified F/A-18D Weapons Systems Operator. He was promoted to Captain on July 1, 2004, joining 2d MSOB on Feb. 2, 2007. His decorations include seven Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Navy Unit Commendation, a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and a NATO medal.
On 1 DEC 2008, Captain Lawton was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V.
CAPTAIN GARRETT T. LAWTON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as the Company Air Officer for Company H, 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command on 29 May 2008, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. On 29 May 2008, the convoy in which Captain Lawton was traveling was struck by a complex ambush while operating in Western Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents engaged the convoy from both sides with small arms, medium machine gun, and rocket propelled grenade fire. The vehicle ahead of Captain Lawton's was struck by a rocket propelled grenade and burst into flames, trapping a gravely wounded Soldier in the back of the vehicle. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Lawton, along with two other Marines from his vehicle moved from a covered position and run under fire across 100 meters of open terrain in order to free the trapped soldier. Unable to pull the Soldier free, and after Captain Lawton sustained 2nd-degree burns to his hands and face, and unable to free the soldier, they were forced to relent in their efforts as the burning vehicle became completely engulfed by fire and exploded. Captain Lawton then returned to his vehicle and directed the vehicle out of the ambush's kill zone. After exiting the kill zone, Captain Lawton refused medical evacuation and aided in the prosecution of 14 close air support missions to reduce enemy strong points within the village. By his courageous actions, exceptional dedication to duty, and dogged refusal to leave any man behind, Captain Lawton reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.
For the President,
James T. Conway
Commandant of the Marine Corps