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November 26, 2010

Obama Freedom Medal goes to slain aid worker

Afghan.tom.little-thumb-610x457 President Barack Obama has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- America's highest civilian honor -- to Tom Little, the New York optometrist who was one of 10 aid workers to be mercilessly killed in August by mysterious assailants in northern Afghanistan.

Obama bestowed the honor on Little and an eclectic group of 14 other people, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former US President George H.W. Bush (aka 41), poet Maya Angelou, investor Warren Buffett, artist Jasper Johns, and musician Yo-Yo Ma.

The International Assistance Mission, the aid group that organized the ill-fated medical mission, said it was "heartened" to learn of the honor for one of their longtime members.

"We are very appreciative that the hard work and sacrifice of the Nuristan Eye Camp team has been recognised by so many," the IAM said. "We would also like to remember the work of all those who died, particularly Dan Terry who was a very good friend of Tom and had also lived, worked, and raised his family here for over 30 years."


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Checkpoint Kabul is written by McClatchy journalists covering Afghanistan and south Asia.

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