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Fallen Special Ops Marine To Be Awarded Navy Cross

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Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Gifford

Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Gifford, a member of the Marine Special Operations Command, will be posthumously awarded the Navy Cross on June 17.

The Navy Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to member of the Marine Corps or Navy.

The Marine Corps Times reports the 34-year-old Gifford was serving as team chief of Special Operations Task Force West in Bagdhis province, Afghanistan when insurgents attacked during a morning patrol on July 29, 2012.

According to MARSOC Public Affairs:

Gifford's decisive actions saved the lives of his fellow Marines and Afghan Commando partners, and he continued to fight until he fell mortally wounded.

Gifford left behind five young sons and his wife, Lesa.

Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, will present the Navy Cross to Gifford's family at a ceremony held at MARSOC headquarters aboard Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

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