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September 18, 2009 | Ann Gerhart, Gerhart writes for the Washington Post.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti died one sweltering June day in 2006 on a remote ridge in Afghanistan, on his third attempt to get through pounding enemy fire to rescue one of his wounded soldiers. On Thursday, President Obama recognized Monti with the nation's highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action." Monti -- whose parents, Paul and Janet, received the award on his behalf -- is only the second service member to receive the medal for combat in Afghanistan.
August 20, 2009 | Tony Perry
A Marine based in Twentynine Palms is set to receive the Navy Cross today for bravery during combat in Afghanistan. Lance Cpl. Richard Weinmaster, 20, of Cozad, Neb., was part of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment deployed last year to break the Taliban's hold on Helmand Province. On a July 8 foot patrol, Weinmaster's squad was ambushed. Weinmaster used his body to protect his squad leader and other Marines from the blast of an enemy grenade. Although seriously wounded, he continued to fire at the attackers, forcing them to flee.
August 12, 2009 | John Meroney, John Meroney is completing a book on Ronald Reagan's role in the Hollywood labor movement.
Imagine if one of America's foremost writers had once been privy to a shadowy plot by Hitler's Germany to take control of the motion picture industry through its labor organizations and force writers to clear scripts with Nazi censors, and then he courageously stepped forward to blow the whistle on the whole operation. Wouldn't it be bizarre if, when this man died, instead of being celebrated for such heroism, he was criticized and even attacked by colleagues for revealing the identities of those who were behind the intrigue?
May 7, 2009 | David Kelly
Is Hoagie a hero or a hapless mutt who happened to pick on the wrong cat? That depends on who's telling the story. William Morse said the black shepherd mix he rescued from the pound saved his life Tuesday by intercepting a charging mountain lion in the Cleveland National Forest -- and got badly mauled. "I went toward the bathroom and a mountain lion came out and attacked us," he told reporters on the day of the incident. "It got to my dog first and chewed him up.
March 4, 2009 | Joel Rubin
Sixteen Los Angeles police officers have been chosen to receive the department's Medal of Valor for bravery in the line of duty. The civilian board that oversees the LAPD voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the department's selection of the officers, who were cited by officials for "displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril." The medal is the department's highest honor. Ten of the officers were involved in a chaotic 2005 shootout in South L.A. between the LAPD's elite SWAT unit and a deranged man who opened fire on police while holding his toddler daughter.
January 16, 2009 | Matea Gold and Jennifer Oldham and Peter Pae
It was just a few minutes after takeoff. The voice that came over the intercom was urgent but calm. "Brace for impact," Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, 57, told the 150 passengers of US Airways Flight 1549.
December 29, 2008 | Tony Perry
They had known each other only a few minutes, but they will be linked forever in what Marine brass say is one of the most extraordinary acts of courage and sacrifice in the Iraq war. Cpl. Jonathan Yale, 21, grew up poor in rural Virginia. He had joined the Marine Corps to put structure in his life and to help support his mother and sister. He was within a few days of heading home. Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 19, was from a comfortably middle-class suburb on Long Island.
December 1, 2008 | Ari B. Bloomekatz, Bloomekatz is a Times staff writer.
Gilberto Bosques Saldivar has never been the subject of a major motion picture by Steven Spielberg. American history books seldom, if ever, mention his name, and he does not have his own Wikipedia page, in Spanish or English. But the former Mexican diplomat, stationed in France during World War II, helped save as many as 40,000 Jews and other refugees from Nazi persecution.
October 30, 2008 | Tony Perry
The Navy will name its latest Zumwalt-class destroyer for a SEAL from Orange County who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the secretary of the Navy announced Wednesday. Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, 25, was killed during a firefight in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 when he smothered an insurgent's grenade to save three fellow SEALs. "Those who served with Michael Monsoor will remember him always as a consummate professional who faced terrorist enemies with aplomb and stoicism," Navy Secretary Donald Winter said in announcing the decision during a speech in New York.
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