DALLAS -- U.S. Marine Sgt. Ian Tawney's daughter, Claire, was born three months after his October 2010 death in Afghanistan.
This January, on Claire's first birthday, Tawney's family -- wife, Ashley, and parents, John and Theda Tawney -- received the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Achievement with "V" for Valor for his short, but heroic service with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Ian Tawney
Tawney, a 2003 graduate of Dallas High School, had already been awarded several medals and commendations, including the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Humanitarian, and Navy Unit Commendation.
Tawney arrived in Afghanistan on his fifth deployment. He joined the Marines in 2005.
Tawney, a squad leader who served just a few weeks in Afghanistan, was awarded the Achievement Medal posthumously for his leadership, especially for his actions leading a team on a mission to rescue another Marine.
U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Achievement with "V" for Valor was presented to the family of Ian Tawney's for his short but heroic service with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
"When another unit came under heavy enemy fire and were pinned down outside patrol base Almas, he (Tawney) immediately coordinated artillery fires onto the enemy and led a six-man team to successfully retrieve a wounded Marine," read the certificate accompanying the medal, describing two separate incidents.
On Oct. 16, 2010, the day Tawney was killed by a roadside bomb, Theda said Ian's attention was on giving orders trying to keep his men safe, even after he was wounded.
"That is so like Ian," Theda Tawney said.
She said the medal was delivered to Ashley's new home in North Carolina by two fellow Marines her son served with throughout his career.
Tawney's unit suffered heavy casualties during its deployment in Afghanistan -- 25 Marines were killed and almost 200 wounded during the seven-month tour.
However, the Tawneys are proud of the unit's critical accomplishments in the region. Theda said during the time it was there, the 3/5 transformed the violent stronghold of the Taliban into a livable, safer community.
More than a year following Ian's death, Tawney's parents said the Marines continue to be supportive of Ashley and Claire.
"Ian's friends will always be involved," Theda said.