Staff Sgt. Eric Smith, who retired from the United States Marine Corps before becoming a firefighter in Irving, Texas, had his Silver Star upgraded to a Navy Cross in a recent ceremony presided over by Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy, head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. The Navy Cross is the second highest valor award a war fighter can receive in the United States military, second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Smith, who was first presented the Silver Star in 2004 for his actions as a Corporal in Ramadi, Iraq, received the upgrade as a part of an awards review process initiated by the Department of Defense in 2011, intended to ensure service members received the appropriate recognition for their heroic efforts in the Global War on Terror that began in 2001.
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