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By JOSHUA COFFMAN
RADCLIFF — Marine Lt. Col. Steven Logan helped bring the rule of law back to Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
And, for his efforts, the North Hardin graduate received a Bronze Star award this week.
Logan, who now serves as a Marine Reservist and works as a federal prosecutor in Phoenix, helped find local judges to enforce the law and gain respect among Iraqi police.
The efforts were key in quelling deadly attacks in an area until recently known as one of the most violent in the war-torn country.
He and his unit located former judges, opened courts and started processing cases, helping re-establish order.
Buildings in downtown Ramadi were renovated and work began on a $16-million judicial center to try cases and house defendants. The opening of a terrorism court in September led to an immediate decline in fighting.
“What you guys have done, we will remember for years and years,” Logan recalls Iraqi leaders telling him and his fellow Marines in their efforts to help Iraqis govern themselves.
Logan’s latest mission, which wrapped up this spring, marked his second tour of Iraq. He also deployed as a Marine Corps judge advocate in 2004, representing sailors and Marines in legal matters.
The son of a career Army soldier, Logan graduated from North Hardin in 1984 then attended the University of Louisville on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and later enrolled in law school.
His parents still live in Radcliff and he often returns to visit.
Logan has served more than 18 years in the Marines and said the military support shown in Hardin County from the thousands of local retirees and dozens of peers with Army parents, led him to serve a distinguished career in the military.
“I learned at an early age that when you’re charged with a job you get it done,” Logan said, noting his father served two stints in Korea. “It kind of molds you and lets you know this is serious stuff.”
The transition which Logan helped oversee in Iraq led from a time when dozens of judges were assassinated in the early years of the war and tribal law ruled, to a time when judges have homes in the community and are visible.
The Bronze Star, given for bravery, heroism or meritorious service, is the fourth-highest honor given in war time.
Still, Logan is humbled in receiving it.
“It’s bittersweet because we still have so many service members in Iraq and so many service members that paid the ultimate price,” he said. “It was a job I was given to do. … The pleasure I get is being a Marine and coming back with fellow Marines, knowing the job was accomplished.”
Joshua Coffman can be reached at (270) 505-1740.