SAN CLEMENTE (CBS) — His family is so proud. And rightly so.
They don’t have their son back — Marine Lance Corporal Donald Hogan didn’t return from war alive. But he was a hero nonetheless.
For his heroism he is being awarded the prestigious Navy Cross.
Hogan was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 by a buried roadside bomb. He was on his first tour of duty…there just three months.
Before the bomb detonated, he pushed a fellow Marine out of harms way and yelled a warning to others.
For sacrificing his own life, Hogan — a member of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Battalion, 5th Marine regiment — is an honored recipient of one of the most important medals a serviceman or woman can get.
“Mortally wounded by the explosion, Lance Cpl. 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 explosion, his citation reads.
Before joining the service at 20, Hogan graduated from Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita. There, he ran cross-country and track. He attended Saddleback College in Mission Viejo before enlisting in the Marine Corps.
Tonight, for the first time, his parents Carla and Jim, speak out about their brave and honored son.
Melissa McCarty, reporting for KCAL9, brought us their touching story.