NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo, 24, was killed March 24 by a civilian driver who gained access to Naval Station Norfolk. Now there’s a movement to have him officially remembered as a hero.
Navy officials say MA2 Mayo died heroically: “He jumped into the way, between the gunman and petty officer of the watch,” said Capt. Robert Clark, Commanding Officer of Naval Station Norfolk. “She fell to the ground. He covered her and gave his life for hers.”
Because of his actions, there is now a petition on the White House website appealing for Mark Mayo to receive the Medal of Honor. The Military Times is reporting he is out of the running for that prestigious medal, though, because he was not killed in combat.
However, he could still be posthumously rewarded.
MA2 Mayo could receive the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, which dates back to World War II. This is the non-combat medal of honor.
Doug Sterner, a Vietnam Veteran who manages the Military Times Hall of Valor Awards database, told WAVY.com that medal is one of the rarest of all military decorations, awarded between 5,000 and 10,000 times since its creation in 1942. The medal ranks below the Silver Star and Distinguishing Flying Cross, but above the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
Notable recipients of the medal include President John F. Kennedy, for his actions to save his crew on PT-109, and James E. Williams, the most decorated enlisted Sailor in history.