Army officer to be dismissed after killing Va. soldier in 'friendly fire'
The U.S. Army has taken the rare step of stripping an officer of his combat infantry badge and is in the process of dismissing him from military service.
It all stems from the death of a Northern Virginia soldier, the son of a retired, beloved teacher at Langley High School, Dave Sharrett.
Sharrett's son, Dave Jr, was an All-Star defensive end at Oakton High School and became a Private First Class for the 101st Airborne.
He was shot to death in Iraq in 2008 by his own lieutenant, Tim Hanson.
"He shot him, got on a chopper, left his men to die, and lied about it," Sharrett says.
For four years, Sharrett pressed the Army to investigate and hold Hanson accountable.
In March of this year, Sharrett had a face-to-face meeting with Secretary of the Army John McHugh. He thought he had come to the end of his fight.
"Lt. Hanson was given an award for the firefight that killed my son," he says. "I was outraged."
That award was the Combat Infantry Badge for coming under direct enemy fire.
Pfc. Sharrett was given the prestigious Combat Infantry Badge posthumously.
According to Joe Gould of the Army Times, 70,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have received it. He's only aware of one who's had it taken away. And that is Lt. Hanson.
Last week Secretary McHugh's right hand man sent an email to Sharrett also telling him that Hanson would be removed from the Army. The news came on the eve of what would've been Dave Jr.'s 32nd birthday.
"We won," Sharrett says. "They told us we couldn't beat the Army. And you don't do a victory lap for this, but we won."
ABC7 requested interviews with Army officials and with Lt. Hanson. The Pentagon denied that request. Hanson never responded.