OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A local Marine, wrongly convicted in the court of public opinion, has finally been exonerated.
Major Fred Galvin and six others were wrongly accused of killing women and children in Afghanistan in 2007. The "MARSOC 7," as they became known, spent 11 years under a cloud of suspicion.
This week, the Marines Corps finally lifted that cloud.
“The psychological turmoil has really forced a lot of our Marines, three in particular, into some very dark places,” Galvin told FOX4.
Galvin’s company with the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, or "MARSOC," came under attack from a suicide bomber and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in March 2007.
“A car bomb detonated in front of our second vehicle, sending the gunner down from the blast,” Galvin said. “It was a van full of explosives and shrapnel.”
Galvin and his fellow Marines returned fire and sped out of the village.
By the time the Marines returned to the base, a false narrative accusing Galvin and his men of killing 19 women and children had already reached the Marine’s top brass.
A year later, a military inquiry technically cleared Galvin and another man, but they were never declared innocent.
Many national news organizations continued to report the MARSOC 7 had murdered civilians.
This week, at the urging of congress, the Commandant of the Marine Corps finally corrected the record, saluting the MARSOC 7 for the military judgement on that March day in 2007.
Now, Galvin would like to see all seven of the Marines receive a newly approved MARSOC Marine Raider insignia in a public ceremony.
“In the Native American culture, to bring a brave back into the tribe, if there’s a question in battle,” Galvin said, “the chief must bring that warrior back in restoration and reconciliation with the rest of the tribe.”