President, Department of Defense Honor Harry McKillop with Top Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service to Country

Aug 21, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Harry McKillop Irish Spirit Award

    PLANO, Texas, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In a ceremony in Waco, Texas on
 Monday, August 20, President George W. Bush honored Harry E. McKillop of
 McKinney, Texas for more than 40 years of unselfish service to Americans in
 need around the world. For his humanitarianism and patriotic service, Mr.
 McKillop was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public
 Service.
     Upon receiving the award, Mr. McKillop said, "I am deeply honored and
 humbled to receive this award, one that I accept on behalf of the many
 people who have helped through the years in the searches to find our
 Americans, free them and bring them home. There is no greater reward than
 to be able to help fellow Americans in peril and need."
     "I am equally honored by the sincerity, caring and understanding that
 President Bush showed when he presented the award to me," Mr. McKillop
 said. "The President not only knew about our many efforts through the years
 to find missing Americans, but he understood the meaning behind it all, for
 which I am most rewarded and grateful."
     The saga of Harry McKillop's worldwide humanitarian campaigns began
 dramatically in 1969 when he directed and managed the massive logistics of
 a high-profile trip of the wives of American Prisoners of War to Vietnam to
 provide supplies and relief to our POWs there. While the supplies never
 made it through Communist governments there to the American POWs, a strong
 message to the world did. More importantly, the POWs themselves heard of
 the effort, and for them it was a critical sign of caring and hope, and
 sparked renewed will to make it the rest of the way.
     Mr. McKillop made additional trips in the 70's and 80's to Vietnam, as
 well as Laos and Cambodia, to continue the search for and ultimately the
 return of Americans there. While Mr. McKillop himself was never part of the
 spotlight, his work definitely was, as world attention was repeatedly
 focused on the trips and the plight of American POWs and MIAs from the
 Vietnam War.
     Mr. McKillop's interest and tireless efforts in helping other Americans
 and supporters continued long afterwards, including the recovery of 170
 Nung Vietnamese from High Island, Hong Kong for relocation to the United
 States and assisting a family of six in their escape to the United States
 during the Kosovo Crisis. He still pursues active searches today on a
 global basis. One of many examples is that of Mr. McKillop's efforts to
 bring Marjorie Fuller home to America. Ms. Fuller was a young lady living
 in China with her parents prior to World War II. When the Japanese invaded
 China, she was taken as a Prisoner of War for the entire war. After the
 war, she was so embarrassed by this experience that she chose to remain in
 China.
     The Chinese decided she was a CIA agent (she was not) and held her in
 prison for over 40 years. Harry McKillop learned about Ms. Fuller and over
 an extended period of time, he convinced the Chinese to release her, and
 personally brought her to the United States and arranged for her to live in
 a retirement home in Baltimore, Maryland where she wanted to live. Harry
 visited Ms. Fuller once a month until she passed away in 2006. Because she
 had no family, Mr. McKillop had her buried in his family's private burial
 plot in McKinney, Texas.
     Harry McKillop continues to pursue additional leads of POWs, and in
 particular eight men whom he believes are still alive from the Vietnam War.
 He is also still involved in locating and returning the remains of
 Ambassador Raul Wallenberg, a World War II protector of refugees, to his
 Swedish homeland; resolving a purported kidnapping and incarceration in
 Costa Rica; and locating an MIA pilot in the Middle East.
     Of strong Irish heritage, Harry McKillop was born and raised in the U.S
 and served as a naval officer aboard the USS Phoenix in the Pacific during
 World War II. He is an accomplished airline executive by profession, which
 initially put him in positions of opportunity to get involved early on in
 global projects.
     In 2003, The Harry McKillop Irish Spirit Award was established to honor
 the life and work of Mr. McKillop, whose lifelong commitment to principle
 and "Irish Spirit" values has fueled his dedication to helping people and
 saving lives. Each year the award is given to a person of Irish or
 Irish-American descent, selected by the Award's Trustees, the Ireland Funds
 and the Dublin and Belfast Chambers of Commerce for the individual's
 extraordinary acts of humanitarianism.
     Mr. McKillop is a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus, and is a
 former Grand Knight of the New World Council 9903 in McKinney, and a member
 of the 4th Degree Assembly 2266 in Plano, Texas. He has also been honored
 by the McKinney Fire Department as an Honorary Battalion Chief.
     For additional information please see the Harry McKillop Biographical
 Background and Summary of Humanitarian Missions
 http://www.irish-spirit-award.com/press_room/index.htm .
     For Additional Information Contact:
     Joe McNamara
     972-577-6165
     Catherine Hughes
     972 535-1979
 
 

SOURCE The Harry McKillop Irish Spirit Award
    PLANO, Texas, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In a ceremony in Waco, Texas on
 Monday, August 20, President George W. Bush honored Harry E. McKillop of
 McKinney, Texas for more than 40 years of unselfish service to Americans in
 need around the world. For his humanitarianism and patriotic service, Mr.
 McKillop was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public
 Service.
     Upon receiving the award, Mr. McKillop said, "I am deeply honored and
 humbled to receive this award, one that I accept on behalf of the many
 people who have helped through the years in the searches to find our
 Americans, free them and bring them home. There is no greater reward than
 to be able to help fellow Americans in peril and need."
     "I am equally honored by the sincerity, caring and understanding that
 President Bush showed when he presented the award to me," Mr. McKillop
 said. "The President not only knew about our many efforts through the years
 to find missing Americans, but he understood the meaning behind it all, for
 which I am most rewarded and grateful."
     The saga of Harry McKillop's worldwide humanitarian campaigns began
 dramatically in 1969 when he directed and managed the massive logistics of
 a high-profile trip of the wives of American Prisoners of War to Vietnam to
 provide supplies and relief to our POWs there. While the supplies never
 made it through Communist governments there to the American POWs, a strong
 message to the world did. More importantly, the POWs themselves heard of
 the effort, and for them it was a critical sign of caring and hope, and
 sparked renewed will to make it the rest of the way.
     Mr. McKillop made additional trips in the 70's and 80's to Vietnam, as
 well as Laos and Cambodia, to continue the search for and ultimately the
 return of Americans there. While Mr. McKillop himself was never part of the
 spotlight, his work definitely was, as world attention was repeatedly
 focused on the trips and the plight of American POWs and MIAs from the
 Vietnam War.
     Mr. McKillop's interest and tireless efforts in helping other Americans
 and supporters continued long afterwards, including the recovery of 170
 Nung Vietnamese from High Island, Hong Kong for relocation to the United
 States and assisting a family of six in their escape to the United States
 during the Kosovo Crisis. He still pursues active searches today on a
 global basis. One of many examples is that of Mr. McKillop's efforts to
 bring Marjorie Fuller home to America. Ms. Fuller was a young lady living
 in China with her parents prior to World War II. When the Japanese invaded
 China, she was taken as a Prisoner of War for the entire war. After the
 war, she was so embarrassed by this experience that she chose to remain in
 China.
     The Chinese decided she was a CIA agent (she was not) and held her in
 prison for over 40 years. Harry McKillop learned about Ms. Fuller and over
 an extended period of time, he convinced the Chinese to release her, and
 personally brought her to the United States and arranged for her to live in
 a retirement home in Baltimore, Maryland where she wanted to live. Harry
 visited Ms. Fuller once a month until she passed away in 2006. Because she
 had no family, Mr. McKillop had her buried in his family's private burial
 plot in McKinney, Texas.
     Harry McKillop continues to pursue additional leads of POWs, and in
 particular eight men whom he believes are still alive from the Vietnam War.
 He is also still involved in locating and returning the remains of
 Ambassador Raul Wallenberg, a World War II protector of refugees, to his
 Swedish homeland; resolving a purported kidnapping and incarceration in
 Costa Rica; and locating an MIA pilot in the Middle East.
     Of strong Irish heritage, Harry McKillop was born and raised in the U.S
 and served as a naval officer aboard the USS Phoenix in the Pacific during
 World War II. He is an accomplished airline executive by profession, which
 initially put him in positions of opportunity to get involved early on in
 global projects.
     In 2003, The Harry McKillop Irish Spirit Award was established to honor
 the life and work of Mr. McKillop, whose lifelong commitment to principle
 and "Irish Spirit" values has fueled his dedication to helping people and
 saving lives. Each year the award is given to a person of Irish or
 Irish-American descent, selected by the Award's Trustees, the Ireland Funds
 and the Dublin and Belfast Chambers of Commerce for the individual's
 extraordinary acts of humanitarianism.
     Mr. McKillop is a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus, and is a
 former Grand Knight of the New World Council 9903 in McKinney, and a member
 of the 4th Degree Assembly 2266 in Plano, Texas. He has also been honored
 by the McKinney Fire Department as an Honorary Battalion Chief.
     For additional information please see the Harry McKillop Biographical
 Background and Summary of Humanitarian Missions
 http://www.irish-spirit-award.com/press_room/index.htm .
     For Additional Information Contact:
     Joe McNamara
     972-577-6165
     Catherine Hughes
     972 535-1979
 
 SOURCE The Harry McKillop Irish Spirit Award