NAPERVILLE, Ill. — A US Marine staff sergeant currently assigned to Recruiting substation DuPage South in the Chicago suburb of Naperville has put in to be awarded the Navy Cross due to wounds suffered from exposure to the war torn city.
Staff Sgt. Delroy McGovern submitted a formal request for the award to Headquarters Marine Corps yesterday, citing the widespread violence and total lack of order and discipline in the city as justification for the award. McGovern, a Fox Crossing, Mt. native, said the past 14 months "on the streets" had been a soul-hardening experience.
“Having spent my entire eight-year career in a supply warehouse until I arrived here. I never really thought about what war or combat would be like,” he told reporters after a poolee fun run at a nearby park. “This experience though. This tour of duty has changed me completely.”
The city of Chicago has seen 3,154 shootings, 488 of them fatal, in calendar year 2016 — a spike of more than 80% from the previous year. The city of Naperville, however, has reported only a single murder this year and is consistently listed as a top city in America in which to live and raise a family.
McGovern said that despite his substation being more than 30 miles from the city limits, he regularly crosses "into the shit" when dropping Marine hopefuls off at the airport. He went on to describe one particular drop that he says nearly got him and his poolee killed.
“We were sitting there at a red light when this maniac charged right up to my Ford Focus holding a steel coffee cup and half a cardboard box," he said. "He was out of his mind, high on drugs and had a lust for blood. I told my guy to get low and cover his head if he ever wanted to see his family again.”
After what he described as "an eternity," McGovern said the light turned green, and he gunned it out of there, leaving the fiend to prey on the next target.
“My knuckles were as white as snow,” he continued after having his blood pressure checked by a nearby corpsman. “I knew I would never be the same. That was my D-Day in Chiraq.”
McGovern says he also struggles to cope with PTSD after a night spent in downtown where Chicago Police "guerrillas" were tearing through Grant Park on horseback, shouting in an unintelligible dialect while forcing civilians out into the street.
“It was total carnage, bodies everywhere,” he sobbed. “I took cover behind an oak tree and prayed to God Almighty that the innocents got away from those seditious anarchists. ‘Park is closed!’ they yelled amidst mild protest, over and over. Those images and the sound of their shrieks have kept me up many a night.”
McGovern expects to hear back within the next few weeks as to whether he will be awarded the second highest military decoration for valor. His commanding officer, Maj. Shanelle Porter, was brief when asked about his chances.
“He’s out of his goddamn mind.”