Six civilian contractors, who were killed while serving in Afghanistan, were recently posthumously awarded Medals for the Defense of Freedom (see photo left).
The medal is the civilian equivalent to the Purple Heart. It is the highest honour the US Department of Defense can award civilians injured or killed in the line of duty.
The contractors were all working under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), which provides contingency support for the US Armed Forces.
The families of five of the contractors killed solemnly accepted the medals, presented by Brigadier John Wharton, Commanding General, U.S. Army Sustainment Command during a ceremony at Greenville. Killed were:
Jarod Cravens (32), Onaje Hilliard (33), Matthew Lemmon (45) and Julius Wright (31): all died 29th October 2011 in Kabul when a suicide car bomber attacked the armored personnel carrier they were travelling in.
Bryan Farr, 22, was shot and killed in May 2010.
In a separate ceremony in Arizona, Santa Gracia Ramirez - who worked for Pacific Architects and Engineers - was posthumously awarded the medal. She was killed by a suicide bomber in 2007 while mentoring, training and advising Afghan prison officials.