US Marshals honored for bravery - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

US Marshals who serve WV were honored for their bravery

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U.S. Marshals serving West Virginia were awarded with the Congressional Badge of Bravery.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was on hand to award the medals to the seven men who took part in a 2011 drug raid in Elkins. One marshal, Derek Hotsinpiller, was killed in the raid. His mother, Pamela Bolyard-Hotsinpiller, accepted the award on behalf of her son. Hotsinpiller had joined the U.S. Marshals after graduating with honors from Fairmont State University.

Rockefeller paid tribute to Hotsinpiller and commended the surviving marshals, saying the exemplify bravery.

"U.S. Marshals feel a distinct call to serve and protect the public," Rockefeller said. "The act of violence that took the life of Derek Hotsinpiller was profoundly tragic. Today, we honor this dedicated young man, and the six other brave marshals who served our state and nation that day. They deserve the highest recognition for their courage and their unwavering commitment to keeping our community safe from harm."

In addition to Hotsinpiller, the following marshals were honored:

  • Philip Efaw, who has served 10 years with the U.S. Marshals and five years with the U.S. Marine Corps;
  • Wesley "Fred" Frederick, who has served three years with the U.S Marshals and served four years as a Marine. Frederick was injured in the raid.
  • John Hare, who has served more than 20 years with the U.S. Marshal Service.
  • Paul Hickman, who has served 16 years as a U.S. Marshal and also is a member of the Special Operations group. Hickman has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Alex Neville, who has served 21 years as a U.S. Marshal and currently serves as a Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal. He also was injured in the raid.
  • Joseph Nichols, who has served with the U.S. Marshal Service for six years and spent four years in the U.S. Air Force.

The Badge of Bravery is a highly prestigious award that has been given to only 59 individuals to date, including the seven honored today. It was created by Congress in 2008 to honor a select group of law enforcement officers who perform exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty.