ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced its 2016 Citizen Honors Award finalists today. The 20 finalists were nominated for their exceptional acts of courage and selfless service in their local communities across the country.
"We created the Citizen Honors Awards to honor and recognize Americans who have made a lasting impact in their local communities through their acts of bravery and service," said Medal of Honor Recipient Tom Kelley, who is president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. "As recipients of the Medal of Honor, we know that all Americans, when confronted with difficult or challenging situations, can take action to improve and serve our communities."
Since 2008, the Society has honored 27 citizens. To be considered for the Citizen Honors Award, nominees must have made a difference in the lives of others through a singular act of extraordinary heroism, or through their sustained service on behalf of others.
Ten of the 20 finalists were nominated for single acts of courage and 10 for selfless service. The 2016 Citizen Honors Award finalists in the selfless service category are:
- Dr. O.K. Lance Armstrong III, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
- Tracy Brabender, Delmar, N.Y.
- George B. Dodge, Sr., Pensacola, Fla.
- Jude Dennis Fournier, Albuquerque, N.M.
- Eileen Hadbavny, Charleston, S.C.
- Jack Howell, Palm Coast, Fla.
- Rabbi Harold Schulweis, Encino, Calif. (deceased)
- Jan Craig Scruggs, Annapolis, Md.
- Misti Stevens, Leavenworth, Kan.
- Jennifer Wasylyna, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
The 2016 Citizen Honors Award finalists in the single acts of courage category are:
- Ashley Aldridge, Auburn, Ill.
- Neil Burkhardt, Portland, Ore.
- Joshua Garcia, New York, N.Y.
- Cesar Garcia and Michael Frawley, Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
- Peter Gold, New Orleans, La.
- Chris Mintz, Roseburg, Ore.
- Gary Olson, Mary Olson, and Shelby Olson, Jefferson, S.D.
- Ryan Rollinger, Harrisburg, S.D.
- Kenneth Smith, Chicago, Ill.
- James Vernon, Morton, Ill.
From these 20 finalists, a panel of Medal of Honor Recipients will select the top three, who will be recognized as the 2016 Citizen Honors Award winners. The three winners will be announced on Feb. 15, and they will be recognized in a ceremony on Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2016. The ceremony will be held at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery, in Washington D.C.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation: The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation was founded in 1999 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society with the mission to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal through outreach and education. Through its Character Development Program, the Foundation reaches out to the citizens of America, and particularly to young Americans, to promote an awareness of the values embodied in the Medal and to teach that ordinary citizens, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can make a difference in the lives of others. The Foundation, which also supports the important work of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with Tax ID #25-1828488.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society: The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by the Congress in 1958 to create a brotherhood among the living Medal of Honor recipients, to protect and uphold the dignity and honor of the Medal, to promote patriotism and love of country, and to inspire our youth to become worthy dedicated citizens of our nation. Its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. Today, there are 77 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. The Society is unique in that its membership hopes that there will be no need to welcome new inductees.
CONTACT: Eugenia Gardner, (703) 373-7172
SOURCE Congressional Medal of Honor Society