ALBANY – Several attempts to posthumously award Captain Philip Esposito of Suffern and First Lieutenant Lou Allen, of Milford, Pennsylvania, a native of Chester, have failed over the years despite efforts by politicians on several levels.
The two men were killed while stationed in Iraq back in 2005 when Staff
Sgt. Alberto Martinez set off a mine outside their tent on June 7.
Martinez, who died recently, was never convicted of the murders.
But now, with a new administration in Washington, State Senator William Larkin, a 23-year-career Army veteran who retired as a lieutenant colonel, said he would ask the military leaders to reconsider.
“If you remember years ago, there was a fellow who played football for the Cardinals … and there was friendly fire and they gave him a Purple Heart,” Larkin said. “But, this wasn’t friendly fire; this was enemy fire as far as I am concerned, and I will ask them to reconsider.”
The military turned down the award to both Esposito and Allen contending they
were not killed in battle by enemy fire.