Sailors killed in NAS Pensacola attack posthumously awarded Purple Heart

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Three sailors killed in the Naval Air Station Pensacola terrorist attack last year were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Friday.

To honor all those affected by the attack, the Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC) held a memorial service and wreath laying, along with individual Purple Heart ceremonies for each of the fallen.

“Ensign Joshua Watson, Petty Officer 3rd Class Mohammed Haitham and Petty Officer 3rd Class Cameron Walters paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation,” said Rear Adm. Pete Garvin, commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), who was the ceremony’s guest speaker. “As we lay this wreath for our three fallen shipmates, we honor their bravery and their sacrifice.”

Eight others were injured in the attack on Dec. 6, 2019. They were also honored at the ceremonies.

The shooter, Saudi naval student, Mohammed Alshamrani, was killed by a responding deputy.

“In these times the war zone is no longer limited to battlefields, it all too often finds its way to bastions where it is least expected,” said Cmdr. Michael Lofgren, NASC’s executive officer, who provided remarks at the ceremonies. “These heroes, selflessly and tirelessly preparing for a battlefield, suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves in a war zone.”

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the ceremonies were live-streamed. However, families were allowed to attend as the Navy honored the fallen men.

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