View Full Version : Wives accept Purple Hearts for 2 Marines killed in Iraq

04-26-03, 09:16 AM
Article ran : 04/26/2003

Wives accept Purple Hearts for 2 Marines killed in Iraq

Michelon Williams was still wearing her husband’s dog tags Friday as she stood with Brig Gen. Mastin Robeson at Camp Lejeune.

Williams, of Richlands whose friends call her Missy, was there to accept the Purple Heart for her late husband, Sgt. Nicholas M. Hodson. She spoke softly as the couple’s 18-month-old son Marius ran between the rows of guests.

It was a gray day inside and out.

“I couldn’t be more proud and more broken-hearted at the same time,” said Robeson, the acting commander for 2nd Marine Division.

Two Lejeune Marines killed in Iraq were honored with Purple Hearts Friday. Hodson, 22, a radio operator with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade was killed in a vehicle accident March 23 when the driver of his Humvee swerved to miss an obstacle during a night convoy.

Sgt. Michael E. Bitz, 31, an assault amphibian vehicle driver from Ventura, Calif. assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade was the in the lead AAV of a convoy when his company was ambushed March 23 near An Nasiriyah. He was killed when his vehicle took a direct hit.

The families of both Marines attended the ceremony.

“The order of the Purple Heart is a wonderful institution established by George Washington to honor those injured in combat,” Robeson said. “Nobody wants that award but it is the right thing to honor them.”

Williams, pregnant with twins due in June, said little at the ceremony as she accepted the medal.

Meanwhile, Janina Bitz, who gave birth in February to twins her husband never saw, watched over 2-year-old Joshua who was busy inspecting all the rooms and cubbyholes near the II Marine Expeditionary Force conference room before and after the ceremony.

Bitz was holding her son Caleb and her mother Maree Heron was holding their daughter Taylor as Robeson gave them the Purple Heart medal.

“That’s daddy’s,” said Janina to Joshua as Heron fought to hold back the tears.



04-28-03, 05:05 PM
This sounds a little fishy - you don't get a Purple Heart for a vehicle accident, regardless of the combat circumstances you were in at the time, unless perhaps an enemy intentionally drove into you with their vehicle.