Capt Garrett T. Lawton
Died: August 4, 2008
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Marine from 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
Thursday August 7, 2008
Marine from Beaufort, SC killed in Afghanistan
by Ashley B. Craig Charleston Daily Mail staff
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Preliminary plans are being made to honor a Marine originally from Beaufort, SC who was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Captain Garrett T. Lawton was killed Monday while working with the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in Herat province, Afghanistan, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.
Lawton was 31 and leaves behind his wife Trish and their two sons, 4 and 6.
He joined the Marines in June 1996 and trained to become an F/A-18D Hornet Weapons System Operator. Lawton was promoted to Captain in 2004 and joined the Marines Special Operations Command in 2007.
Capt. Lawton was based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. and lived with his family in Sneads Ferry, a small village just across the New River from the Marine base.
The aviation officer was assigned to ground duty with the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion.
Jennifer Morton, a neighbor of the Lawton family, said Lawton's parents and family live in Beaufort, S.C., so she believed that any event in honor of Lawton will be there.
The community of Sneads Ferry was attempting to plan a gathering in Capt. Lawton's honor but nothing has been confirmed.
Lawton's wife Trish is a stay-at-home mom who teaches aerobics in her spare time and recently began teaching Zumba, Latin based dance aerobics. Trish has been teaching aerobics since high school. She celebrated a birthday last month.
A relative at the Lawton home said the family was doing "OK under the circumstances."
Capt. Lawton's decorations include Bronze Star w/V (posthumously for action which took place nine weeks prior to his death), 2 Purple Hearts, 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.