Intelligence Agency Presents Defense of Freedom Medals
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2001 The Defense Intelligence Agency awarded the first Defense of Freedom Medals to the families of their civilian employees who died Sept. 11 in the attack on the Pentagon.
Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson, agency director, awarded the medals to the families of the seven during a ceremony Oct. 10.
"It takes very talented people and very dedicated professionals to accomplish all that they have done for this agency," Wilson said, speaking of those killed. "In so doing, they epitomized the values that we hold dear. We will forever be profoundly grateful for having known them and for having served with them. Today, we will present the Defense of Freedom medal. The medal commemorates their valor and sacrifice."
The DIA employees killed in the terrorist airliner crash were Rosa Maria (Rosemary) Chapa, Springfield, Va.; Sandra N. Foster, Clinton, Md.; Robert J. Hymel, Woodbridge, Va.; Shelley A. Marshall, Marbury, Md.; Patricia E. (Patti) Mickley, Springfield, Va.; Charles E. Sabin, Burke, Va.; and Karl W. Teepe, Centreville, Va.
The new medal is the civilian equivalent of the military's Purple Heart. In announcing the award Sept. 27, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the civilians killed or wounded in the attack were "combat casualties -- brave men and women who risked their lives to safeguard our freedom, and they paid for our liberty with their lives."
Wilson said all DIA employees need to keep the memories of those killed fresh in their minds. "It falls to us here today to nurture, as best we can, the sacred memories of each of those who paid the ultimate price in the service of our agency, and in the defense of our nation," he said during the presentation of the awards.
The DIA awards were the first of the new medal. Those DoD civilians and contractors working for the department injured in the attacks of Sept. 11 are eligible for the medal.
The families of Army and Navy civilians killed in the attacks will receive their medals soon.