Valley Navy Veteran Receives Silver Star

May 27, 2009 8:40:47 PM PDT
Forty-two years ago the USS Liberty was attacked as it was docked in the Mediterranean Sea during the Arab -Israeli War.One of the sailors on board was awarded the Navy's third-highest honor for saving more than 260 lives on that ship.

65-year old Terry Halbardier never thought he'd be in Congressman Devin Nunes' office receiving a Silver Star, the Navy's third highest honor for his role in saving 260 lives during the Arab-Israeli War, also known as "The Six Day War."

Terry Halbardier said, "I'm stoked! It's a total honored humbly honored right now I never expected something like this to happen."

The Navy vet was only 23-years old when his ship ... the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli fighter jets. 34 crewmembers were killed, 170 others injured. During the two-hour attack Halbardier fixed an antenna that was shot down and sent out a signal for help.

The June 8th 1967 attack is widely controversial because Israel was the U.S.'s ally during the war. President Lyndon Johnson declared it an "accident" but those aboard are certain the attack was deliberate.

"There's a lot of theories but let's just say they didn't want us listening in to what they wanted to do," said Halbardier.

"The government has kept this quiet I think for too long and I felt as my constituent he needed to get recognized for the services he made to this country," said Nunes.

Halbardier still has scars all over his body from shrapnel during the attack. Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern flew from Virginia to see Halbardier receive the Silver Star.

"Now we have a Silver Star- the third highest award for the Navy given to a person without whom there'd be no tale to tell that Liberty would be at the bottom of the Mediterranean," said McGovern.

Terry Halbardier says he still suffers from survivor's guilt. He continues to tell his story about the truth from that day to anyone who will listen.

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