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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today attended a ceremony for the posthumous presentation of the Navy Cross to the family of Marine Corporal Michael W. Ouellette of Manchester at the Marine Reserve Support Center in Londonderry.  Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented the medal. 

"It was a privilege to see Corporal Ouellette recognized for his exceptional courage with the Navy's highest honor," said Shaheen.  "His selfless service to our country, for which he gave the ultimate sacrifice, is both a humbling and inspiring reminder to us all of what defines true heroism."

The Navy Cross, given for valor, is the highest medal that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy and second only to the Medal of Honor in U.S. military decorations.  Corporal Ouellette was awarded the medal for the extraordinary heroism he displayed on March 22, 2009, while serving as a squad leader with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment in the Nowzad district of Afghanistan.

Corporal Ouellette enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2005 and served tours as a squad automatic rifleman in Ramadi, Iraq, and as a fire team leader on a deployment with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit prior to serving as a squad leader in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.