There are few things as distinctly American as our gratitude for our men and women in uniform, and our vehement aversion to injustice. Perhaps that’s why Major Fred Galvin’s (USMC, ret.) story—one of special operations Marines betrayed by their own command and forced to endure character assassinations, unlawful interrogations, and ultimately, besmirched reputations that have encumbered them for a decade—evokes a visceral reaction in all those who hear it. In the long-running Global War on Terror, the story of the MARSOC 7 embodies an appalling confluence of the military’s worst flaws and proves the devastating impact they’ve had on good people.

Galvin has made it his personal crusade in the years since his military retirement to fight for the total exoneration of his men, an exoneration that should have come at the conclusion of the Marine Corps’s court of inquiry in 2008, but was instead substituted with a vague recognition by the convening authority that the men of Fox Company had “acted appropriately.” The statement was given to only one news outlet, and was strategically published on “news-dump Friday” before Memorial Day Weekend, where it was sure to be overlooked. Though the Marine Corps may consider this case closed, its shadow has continued to haunt the men of Fox Company to this day.

Fortunately, the singular focus and determination that helped Galvin become an elite Marine have also driven him forward in his ongoing fight to clear his name and the names of the men under his command. Today—nearly 10 years to the day after the Taliban ambush that sparked this controversy—his pursuit has brought him to the nation’s capital. And now, he has some powerful allies.

On February 16, on Capitol Hill, Galvin spoke at a press conference encouraging Congress to pass House Resolution 21, which calls upon the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps to issue a public document certifying that members of Fox Company were not at fault for the fallout following the firefight between them and the Taliban in Bati Kot, Afghanistan in 2007. The resolution has been with the House Armed Services Committee since early January. Galvin was joined by Representatives Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), as well as Lt. Col. Steve Morgan (USMC, ret.), a junior member of the 2008 military court of inquiry.

Representative Jones delivered an animated, passionate speech condemning the accusers of the MARSOC 7, many of whom have continued to publicly denounce the Marines years after their innocence was proven.

Representative Jones has been a longtime ally to the Marines of Fox Company, standing beside them even when authorities within the Marine Corps and other prominent officials prematurely condemned them before and during the court of inquiry. He introduced the speakers, then calmly waited until they’d all spoken before reiterating the importance of this resolution in setting the record straight.

Prior to the MARSOC 7 case, Representative Jones worked in a similar capacity to clear the names of two Marine V-22 Osprey pilots who died in a tragic crash that claimed the lives of 17 other Marine passengers. Jones proudly recalled having succeeded in convincing the Defense Department to formally absolve the pilots of wrongdoing, and has clearly stated he’ll pursue total exoneration for the men of Fox Company with the same tenacity.

“When you hear this story and this truth, you see our Marines were never given the benefit of the doubt,” said Congressman Jones. “Our brave Marines put their lives on the line, just to have their names dragged through the mud. It is time these men be vindicated fully!”

Representative Ruben Gallego

Representative Gallego, a House Democrat, began his speech by stating that this was not a partisan issue, which may speak favorably to the likelihood of the resolution being moved forward. “Yes, we (Gallego and Jones) are from different parties, but when I see things have been done wrong to Marines, I feel the need to get involved.” As a Marine who also served during the Global War on Terror, Gallego recognized the extraordinary circumstances Galvin and his men were subjected to in combat, and has now lent his voice to the effort to pass Resolution 21. “I know how scary and confusing war can be, but there’s nothing more scary and confusing than when your honor is called into question, and that’s exactly what happened to Fox Company.”