The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is calling on all Americans to nominate their personal hometown heroes for the 2013 Citizen Honors awards. But you’ll have to be quick about it – the cut-off date is January 10!
“Every day in this country, ordinary Americans become extraordinary,” says Tom Wilkerson, president and CEO of The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, which supports the Society. “It can happen in a single instance of bravery, or through a lifetime of service to others. These heroes symbolize the spirit of America, and the Medal of Honor recipients want to find them and recognize them in the same way that they were recognized.”
Barney Barnum, 73, is one of only 77 surviving recipients of the Medal of Honor, America’s highest award for wartime acts of valor. He was honored for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty during a 1965 gun battle in Vietnam. He assumed command of his rifle company after his commanding officer was killed and then successfully led their attack on enemy positions. In 2008 he and the other Society members voted to create this civilian equivalent of their award.
“This is a chance to honor Americans who have gone above and beyond in the civilian world, whether it’s fire, police, or just ordinary individuals who, in a crisis situation, do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons,” says Barney, who helps bestow the Citizen Honors medals each year. “People like this are what makes America great so we’ve got to stop and honor them and think about them. They have stepped forward and made us proud.”
The Citizen Honors celebrate three hometown heroes each year from a pool of candidates nominated by friends, coworkers, families and communities. The Society is looking for candidates from every state in the U.S., and they can be nominated online at http://cmohfoundation.org/citizen-honors.