CLEVELAND (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., presented the Bronze Star to Capt. Matthew C. Gratton, a Navy Reserve Medical Corps officer, during a ceremony here Aug. 28.
Although Gratton lives and works in Kansas City, Kas., he regularly drills as the commanding officer of a medical unit at Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Cleveland. He received the medal for actions performed as Battalion Surgeon with the 3rd Battalion 25th Marines in the Al Anbar province of Iraq while deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"This award," said Gratton, "is really a representation of the hard work performed by my people."
Gratton was responsible for the health and welfare of 1,700 Marines, Sailors, and Iraqi soldiers based in two camps and three firm bases. He organized and supervised more than 1,700 medical visits at battalion aid stations and provided specialized medical care to more than 1,000 patients. He provided trauma care to over 150 wounded-in-action that were evacuated to Camps Haditha and Hit. On May 7 alone, he supervised, treated, and stabilized 11 casualties wounded in combat from a coordinated improvised explosive device attack in Haditha.
The ceremony was conducted along the shores of Lake Erie at the decommissioned submarine and now museum USS Cod (SS 224). Along with Harvey, other attendees of the ceremony included Gratton's wife, Joanne, many of the corpsmen who were deployed with him, Sailors from the NOSC, and numerous Clevelanders, including Mayor Frank G. Jackson.
"Of course I'm very proud," said Joanne, "not only of my husband, but also of all the men who went over there. They're family to us."
The Bronze Star is awarded to any person who, while serving in or with the U.S. military, distinguishes himself though heroic or meritorious achievement, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.
Vice Adm. Harvey is in Cleveland to kick-off Cleveland Navy Week, which runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4. Navy Weeks are held throughout the United States to give Americans who live in cities without a significant Navy presence the opportunity to see their Navy firsthand. The Cleveland Navy Week features a performance by the Blue Angels, the Navy's F/A-18 flight simulator, the East Coast Explosive Ordnance Disposal Dive Tank, and a visit by the Commanding Officer and Sailors from USS Cleveland (LPD 7).
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