The Blackfive post above is a must read. If you are unfamiliar with Corporal Stokes, you should get to know him there. It is worth your time.
Reader Liz sends this update in the Philly Inquirer:
...Take the case of one Marine, Sean A. Stokes of California. On Wednesday, his 25th birthday, he will be awarded the Silver Star for courage demonstrated during the hand-to-hand, street-fighting nightmare that was the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004...
Stokes will be awarded the Silver Star posthumously. It took this long to award him the Silver Star because he had gone AWOL and had a drug test come back positive for marijuana. The Corps had flagged him and so he was not going to be promoted or awarded - even after three tours in Iraq. He cared about the appreciation of his brothers - he continued on for them. Corporal Stokes knew that he would never earn the appreciation of the Marine Corps. To some, this fact makes his actions more remarkable. To us, this fact makes us thankful that such men lived.
Sean Stokes was a lion. And the Corps has done the right thing at the prodding of Stokes' brothers. The Silver Star is the right thing to do. It won't bring Stokes back. It won't heal the hole that his death leaves in so many lives. But it is the right thing for honorable men to do.
Speaking of hononable men, Sergeant Andy Hurt, in the post about Sean Stokes, said it best about what matters:
...Marines will weep as they celebrate his life and his actions. Is there any place more fitting for a warrior to rest than in the hearts of fellow men who braved a land of danger?...