Medal of Honor Recipients Recognize Americans for Valor and Values

17th year highlighting citizens for doing extraordinary things.

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Medal of Honor Recipients are spotlighting others on the day that Congress set aside to “foster public appreciation and recognition of Medal of Honor recipients”—National Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2024.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society —the Congressionally-chartered organization of the 63 living Medal of Honor Recipients—will hold its annual Citizen Honors Awards in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to recognize five U.S. citizens and one nonprofit organization for demonstrating Medal of Honor Values in 2023–courage, sacrifice, citizenship, integrity, commitment, and patriotism. The program is one of the ways the Congressional Medal of Honor Society conducts its mission to promote values and honor.

At this event being emceed by Courtney Kube, NBC News Correspondent, Medal of Honor Recipients will place a medallion hung from a ribbon—a Citizen Honors Award—around the neck of the individual honorees, echoing the ceremony in which they, themselves, were recognized with our country’s most prestigious award for valor in combat.

This year’s honorees are credited with saving victims during the fires in Lahaina, Hawaii, disarming a mass shooter in Los Angeles, and performing acts of service benefiting those with autism and our veteran communities.

Medal of Honor Recipient and Society President Britt Slabinski commented, “Medal of Honor recipients know that there are many Americans who share the values we seek to promote through our outreach, and we think it is important to hold them up as role models for others. Their self-sacrifice embodies the American spirit and shows that the opportunity to serve others does not require a military uniform.”

The awards event takes place the evening of March 25 after Medal of Honor Recipients participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

A panel assembled by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society reviewed the nominations and selected national finalists. From those finalists, the five individuals and organization were chosen to receive the Citizen Honors Awards by a second panel made up exclusively of Medal of Honor Recipients, Americans whose actions have truly defined the words “courage” and “selfless service”.

The 2024 Citizen Honors Awards Honorees

Medal of Honor Recipients selected the following individuals and organization for exemplary service to fellow Americans by going above and beyond the call of duty to aid others.

2024 Single Act of Heroism HonoreeRiley Coon (Wailuku, Hawaii) Riley Coon is selected as a Single Act of Heroism Honoree for his act of heroism on Jan. 21, 2023, when he answered the call from the Coast Guard to use his vessels in saving the lives of people trying to escape the inferno in Lahaina. Riley led his team into harm’s way with 80 mph winds close to shore and intense heat coming from land. They were instrumental in saving lives.

2024 Single Act of Heroism HonoreeBrandon Tsay (San Marino, California) Brandon Tsay is selected as a Single Act of Heroism Honoree for his act of heroism on Aug. 9, 2023, when he disarmed the Monterey Park, California, mass shooter at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, California, during Lunar New Year celebrations.

2024 Young Hero HonoreeAusten Macmillan (Wellington, Florida) Austen Macmillan is selected as a Young Hero Honoree for his act of heroism on Sept. 4, 2023, when he pulled his behavioral therapist from a swimming pool and performed CPR after he attempted to show the boy how long he could hold his breath underwater.

2024 Service Act Honoree – Danny Combs (Golden, Colorado) Danny is selected as the Service Act Honoree for his work to create better lives for those with autism. Inspired by his son, Dylan, Danny started TACT – Teaching the Autism Community Trades to create authentic training that leads to careers. His program has become the most successful training-to-employment program for the autism community in Colorado.

2024 Youth Service Honoree – Ethan Hill (Birmingham, Alabama) Ethan is selected as the Youth Service Honoree for his work to assist the homeless community in and around Birmingham. He founded Ethan’s Heart Bag4Blessings to raise funds, awareness, and contributions for the homeless community.

2024 Community Service Honoree – America’s VetDogs (Smithtown, New York) America’s VetDogs is selected as the Community Service Honoree for providing enhanced mobility and renewed independence to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities, allowing them to live with pride and self-reliance once again. America’s VetDogs utilizes a meticulous matching program to ensure that each recipient is matched with the dog that best suits that person’s mobility, personality, lifestyle, and physical needs.

Find video profiles of past Citizen Honors Awards honorees here. Videos of the 2024 honorees will be added after the ceremony on March 25.

About the Citizen Honors Awards
Launched in 2007, the Citizen Honors Awards program reflects the mission of Medal of Honor Recipients to show that the values associated with the Medal of Honor are relevant to all Americans. The tradition is also in keeping with the preference of Recipients to shine a light on others rather than themselves as they believe that the Medals of Honor they were awarded should be seen more broadly as a symbol of the sacrifices and service of others. Each year a nationwide search is conducted to select five United States citizens and one organization to receive the Citizen Honors Awards. The awards were created to encourage others to recognize acts of heroism and selfless service. Nominations go through two rounds of judging, first by a panel of prominent citizens who create the top twenty list, followed by a panel of Medal of Honor Recipients whose actions have truly defined the words “courage” and “selfless service.” The second panel ultimately selects the individuals and organizations from the top 20 finalists to receive the Citizen Honors Awards. The Citizen Honorees exemplify the values embodied in the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship. Learn more here:

About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor (the United States’ highest award for military valor in action) and its Recipients, inspiring Americans to live the values the Medal represents, and supporting Recipients as they connect with communities across America. Chartered by Congress in 1958, the Society’s membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor.

 The Society carries out its mission through outreach, education, and preservation programs, including the Medal of Honor Character Development Program, Citizen Honors Awards, and The Medal of Honor Museum. As part of Public Law 106-83, the Medal of the Honor Memorial Act, The Medal of Honor Museum, which is co-located with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s headquarters on board the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was designated as one of three national Medal of Honor sites. The Society’s programs and operations are fully funded by generous donors. Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at

Contact: Kristi Hellmuth
[email protected]

SOURCE Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Originally published at
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