WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Letter carriers who helped save a woman who had been shot, got residents out of burning homes or rescued the unconscious driver of a submerged car will be honored Thursday, Oct. 8.
In just his fourth week on the job, Carmichael, CA, letter carrier Scott Gallegos risked his life on the route to save a woman who had been shot by a man who then engaged police in a five-hour standoff. Gallegos, an Iraq war Army veteran, is the 2015 National Hero of the Year. Gainesville, FL, letter carrier and former Marine Alan Symonette, who extracted a driver whose car had plunged into a pond and was filling with water, is the Eastern Region Hero. Akron, OH, letter carrier Kizzy Spaulding, who pulled an unresponsive woman from her burning home, and Tulsa, OK, letter carrier Steve Shipman, who rescued an 11-year-old girl from a house fire, are the Central Region and Western Region Heroes, respectively.
Several other carriers also are being recognized as heroes. They represent thousands of letter carriers who not only deliver the mail to 153 million households and businesses six days a week, but often assist in situations involving accidents, fires, crimes or health crises.
Retired Garden Grove, CA, letter carrier James Robledo, a Vietnam War veteran who through the Guitars for Vets program helps others deal with their combat experiences, is Humanitarian of the Year. Carrier Alert winner Denice Howard, a Plainfield, NJ, letter carrier, located an elderly customer who had fallen on ice, after concluding that the way he had parked his car indicated trouble. Eugene, OR, letter carriers Terrence Graves and Bryce McLean, who spotted and detained a suspected thief, are recipients of the Unit Citation award. And retired Maine letter carrier John Curtis, who is getting the Education Award, wrote a booklet about past labor struggles that resonate today.
The National Association of Letter Carriers Heroes of the Year will be honored by NALC President Fredric Rolando at a special luncheon at noon Oct. 8 at the Embassy Suites, Washington Convention Center, 900 10th St., NW, Washington, D.C. Go to http://nalc.org/heroes for further information on the Heroes, including video, audio and text.
The NALC represents letter carriers across the country. Its 280,000 members make it the largest of the four unions representing employees of the United States Postal Service. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country's oldest labor unions.