Honoring Extraordinary Heroism

Jun 03, 2022

I’d like to share with you a story about one of Eastern Washington’s finest that took my breath away the first time I heard it. On August 25, 1957, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Bobby Moran from Usk risked his life to save the lives of eight people, including two infants, after their boat capsized in the turbulent waters of Pyramid Lake, Nevada.

With the help of a volunteer, Bobby made multiple trips transporting victims to safety on the shores of an island two miles and a half away. Knowing two of the individuals needed immediate medical attention, Bobby traveled in his damaged boat more than seven miles to the mainland – across dark and stormy waters – where he got the help they needed.

This remarkable display of courage and selflessness earned Bobby the Soldier’s Medal for extraordinary heroism outside of conflict with the enemy. It also should have earned him a 10 percent increase in retirement pay, which was denied because he already reached the retirement pay cap. This is wrong. 

You cannot put a price tag on Bobby’s heroic actions that saved the lives of 8 strangers on that fateful day in 1957. That’s why I introduced the Bobby Moran Soldier’s Medal Retirement Act to eliminate the retirement pay cap for Vietnam-era veterans who receive the Soldier’s Medal and pay Bobby – and the heroes like him – the debt we owe for their service above and beyond the call of duty.

You can learn more about Sgt. Bobby Moran and my legislation here.

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