Medal of Honor Recipients recognize American heroes

Alexandria, Alabama, UNITED STATES

ARLINGTON, Va., March 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thirty of the 71 living Medal of Honor Recipients commemorated National Medal of Honor Day with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery today. Afterwards, the Recipients presented their 2018 Citizen Honors Awards to six outstanding Americans; 4 individual awards and two people representing the Veterans Heritage Project (VHP).

"Today, we pause to recognize National Medal of Honor Day and remember those who have sacrificed and honorably fought to defend our freedom," said Bob Patterson, Medal of Honor Recipient and vice president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. "We have heroes all around us, everyday people who perform extraordinary acts of heroism and service that help strengthen our communities and Nation.”

Since 2008, the Medal of Honor Recipients have presented their Citizen Honors Awards to Americans who through their courage and service reflect the values of the Medal of Honor. The Citizen Honors Awards were presented at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall with the generous support of The Boeing Company.

“Boeing is proud to sponsor the Citizen Honors Awards as part of our ongoing commitment to support our nation’s heroes beyond the battlefield,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO and Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board member. “The selfless, courageous acts this program commends are truly inspiring and have made a tremendous difference in our communities. We thank the Recipients for their humble service.”

The 2018 Citizen Honors winners are: 

  • Robert Engle of La Vergne, Tennessee, was selected for his courageous act on September 23, 2017, when he subdued a gunman inside Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. Engle’s actions prevented further loss of life in the deadly shooting.

  • Matthew Cobos, of Trabuco Canyon, California, was selected for his courageous act on October 1, 2017, when he shielded and provided life-saving medical treatment to concertgoers injured in a mass shooting during the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada.

  • Kimberly Scofi of Marietta, Georgia, was selected for her selfless service in support of veterans through her work with United Military Care and other veterans-based service organizations.

  • Virgil Smith of Hitchcock, Texas, was selected for the Citizen Honors Young Hero Award for his courage in assisting several neighbors stranded during Hurricane Harvey. Before emergency professionals arrived, Smith used an air mattress to rescue 17 neighbors trapped in their homes due to high water.

  • Veterans Heritage Project of Phoenix, Arizona, was selected for the Citizen Honors Community Service Hero Award for its innovative after-school course for middle and high school students that provides them with an enriched educational experience by connecting them with US military veterans in a nationally renowned oral history and publication program.  As a result, thousands of veterans’ oral histories have been donated to the Library of Congress.

Through the Citizen Honors Awards, Medal of Honor Recipients educate and inspire Americans to embody the values in the Medal of Honor; courage and sacrifice, commitment and integrity, citizenship and patriotism.

The Medal of Honor is the Nation's highest military honor, presented to Recipients for valor above and beyond the call of duty in combat. The Medal was signed into law by President Lincoln in 1861. Since then, only 3,498 members of the military have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

For more information about the Citizen Honors Awards or the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, visit the Co\ngressional Medal of Honor Foundation website at

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 and dedicated citizens of our nation. Its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. Today, there are 71 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 because the Medal is only awarded for action against a hostile force in time of war.

About the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation:

The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation was founded in 1999 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal. Through character development, scholarship and citizen recognition programs based on the values embodied in the Medal — courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism — the Foundation teaches all citizens that they can make a difference in the lives of others. The Foundation also supports the important work of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with Tax ID #25-1828488, the Foundation carries a rating of 4/4 stars for fiscal management, accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, America's premiere nonprofit evaluator.

 Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Contact: Eugenia Gardner,



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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