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Sky Mote awarded Navy Cross

Marine Staff Sgt. Sky Mote
Marine Staff Sgt. Sky Mote

Marine Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote will posthumously receive the Navy Cross for extreme heroism. Mote, 27, was one of three Marines killed on Aug. 10, 2012, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, by a supposed Afghan ally.

The Navy Cross is the second highest military decoration for valor awarded to a member of the United States Navy, Marines or Coast Guard. Staff Sgt. Mote’s Navy Cross citation reads, in part: “By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Staff Sergeant Mote saved his comrades from further injury or possibly death, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself  and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for another.”

Attending the Jan. 18 award ceremony at Camp Pendleton will be Sky’s family and some friends as well as a few of Sky’s teachers and coaches and a representative from Congressman Tom McClintock’s office.

“This is such an honor but I wish it hadn’t happened this way,” said Russell Mote, a science teacher at Rolling Hills Middle School in El Dorado Hills. “The recognition of Sky is good for his battalion and that’s who this ceremony is for, but it brings it all back to us again. Christmas was tough this year.”

Russell and Sky’s stepmother Marcia Mote, a teacher at Brooks Elementary in El Dorado Hills, raised Sky in El Dorado County. The Marine’s also survived by his brothers Tim, Eric, Tyson and Carson and mother Cindy Menshall. Family members have participated in fundraisers and athletic events to raise money for Marine families in Sky’s name.

A  2003 graduate of Union Mine High School, Mote was deployed to Iraq as a bomb-disposal specialist and then twice deployed to Afghanistan to work with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, training local Afghan police and carrying out  dangerous missions. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and three Good Conduct Medals.

When Mote’s body came home in mid-August 2012, hundreds of people lined overpasses and El Dorado Hills streets to support the family and the fallen Marine, whose name could be memorialized for years to come. The Friends of the Veteran’s Monument in El Dorado County have suggested naming Placerville’s Ray Lawyer Drive overcrossing at Highway 50 in Sky Mote’s honor.

Short URL: http://www.villagelife.com/?p=37308

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Posted by on Jan 15 2014.
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1 Comment for “Sky Mote awarded Navy Cross”


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  1. Friends of the Veterans Monument

    Friends of the Veterans Monument January 20, 2014 – 12:29 pmFriends of the Veterans Monument have proposed to Assembly Bigelow’s office that the overcrossing that spans route #50 at Ray Lawyer Dr. at the El Dorado County Veterans Monument/Government Center be named, “The SSGT. Sky Mote Navy Cross Memorial Over-crossing.” Staff Sergeant Mote NC USMC was recently honored for his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for another.” Friends of the Veterans Monument, EDC-Veterans Affairs Commission and our EDC veteran’s community feel it’s appropriate to name the route #50 over-crossing in SSGT. Motes memory. The Navy Cross is the second highest military decoration for valor that may be awarded to a member of the US Marine Corps for extraordinary heroism in combat. Each of the three services has its own distinctive design for the Medal of Honor and the Three Crosses. The Medal of Honor is awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty. The Three Crosses are awarded for extraordinary heroism. Many of these two highest decorations are awarded posthumously. SSGT. Sky Mote NC will now rightfully take his place among a small group of other NAVY CROSS recipients like Francis Ferry NC of Auburn, California whose action resulted in the sinking of the Battleship Yamamoto and Gunny Sgt. John Basilon MOH NC of Southern California who lost his life on the beaches of Iwo Jima. Assemblyman Bigelow, its time for you to take action on behalf of the people of El Dorado County. Please submit and expedite the required proclamation to the Cal. State. Transportation Commission for approval keeping our community informed of its progress.

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