ARLINGTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Sailor killed on USS Mahan while protecting another Sailor was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery Friday.
Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Mark Mayo was buried in Section 60 at the cemetery, alongside active-duty service members and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Prior to the service, a private ceremony was held for the presentation of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. It’s the highest non-combat award given to those who show heroism.
Mayo’s mother, Sharon Blair, clutched his badge and ID tags that she wore around her neck during the burial service. She was joined by Mayo’s brother, father, and other family members. Vice Admiral William Moran, Chief of Naval Personnel, presented her with a folded flag that had been draped over his casket.
“We don’t often get a chance to talk about heroes in our service, and Petty Officer Mayo was clearly a hero to all of us and the way he stepped in,” Moran said. “He didn’t consider his own life. He only considered the lives of his shipmates, and we’re awfully proud of that.”
At the end of the service, Mayo’s family released doves into the sky. Flags at public buildings in Maryland were flown at half-staff in Mayo’s honor. The Sailor’s hometown was Hagerstown, Md.
The citation for the Navy and Marine Corps Medal signed by CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert reads as follows:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the
NAVY AND MARINE CORPS MEDAL posthumously to
MASTER-AT-ARMS SECOND CLASS MARK A. MAYO
UNITED STATES NAVY
for service as set forth in the following
For heroism while serving at Naval Station Norfolk Security Detachment, Norfolk, Virginia on 24 March 2014. While performing his duties as Chief of the Guard, Petty Officer Mayo was alerted to a suspicious individual walking towards USS MAHAN (DDG 72) on Pier 1, Naval Station Norfolk. Petty Officer Mayo pursued the individual up the brow of the ship while both he and the Quarterdeck watch-standers directed the individual to stop and provide identification. Failing to comply, the individual approached the Quarterdeck, attacked and disarmed the Petty Officer of the Watch. After boarding the ship, Petty Officer Mayo realized that the Petty Officer of the Watch no longer had control of her weapon. With complete and total disregard for his own personal safety, Petty Officer Mayo immediately placed himself between the Petty Officer of the Watch and the assailant. While fearlessly engaging the assailant and shielding the Petty Officer of the Watch, Petty Officer Mayo was fatally wounded. His exceptionally brave actions saved the lives of four watch-standers and ensured the safety of the entire crew of USS MAHAN (DDG 72). By his courageous and prompt actions in the face of great personal risk, Petty Officer Mayo prevented the loss of lives, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
For the President,
JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, United States Navy