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2024 Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Citizen Honors Awards Finalists

Below are the finalists for the 2024 Citizen Honors Awards. The 2024 Honorees will be announced on March 21, and the awards will be presented on March 25, National Medal of Honor Day.

SINGLE ACT

Riley Coon, of Hawaii, is selected for his Single Act of Heroism on August 8, 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.

Alex McPherson, of Arizona, is selected for his Singular Act of Heroism on October 1, 2023, when a disgruntled employee drove to the home offices of United Freight Service, Inc., with the intention of shooting the President of the Company. The shooter entered the office and fired his gun. Alex neutralized the shooter by grabbing the gun while at the same time placing the gunman in both a chock and scissor hold until police arrived.

 Brandon Tsay, of California, Tsay is selected for his Single Act of Heroism on January 21, 2023, when he disarmed the Monterey Park, California mass shooter at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, California, during Lunar New Year celebrations.

Kentre Valentine, of Maryland, is selected for his Singular Act of Heroism on September 26, 2023, when he heard a woman scream for help on his way to an afterschool program. When Kentre realized a ground floor apartment was in flames, he kicked in the door to the foyer of the four-unit building to save the woman inside.

 

SERVICE ACT

 Yasmine Arrington Brooks, of Washington, D.C. is selected as a Service Award Finalist for her creation of the nonprofit ScholarCHIPS – Children of Incarcerated Parents – to help young people like herself with scholarships, mentoring and providing a network of community-building for the scholars, both virtually and in-person.

Danny Combs, of Colorado, is selected as a Service Award Finalist 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.

Cliff Leonard, of Florida, is selected as a Service Award Finalist for his quiet dedication to the service of others. Using his skill as a sculptor and devoting thousands of hours to memorializing fallen young Marines and corpsmen, he has, to date, created more than 50 life sized busts of American heroes who have paid the ultimate price in service to their country.  These busts are provided to the parents or loved ones at no charge.

Major Lee Stuckey, USMC, of Alabama, is selected as a Service Award Finalist for his dedication to helping others combat the demons of war and substance abuse. He founded AHERO (American Heroes Enjoying Recreational Outdoors), a non-profit whose mission is raising awareness and suicide prevention in the veteran and first responders’ community by utilizing recreational outdoor activities. His mission has been expanded to assist those in need by providing music, talk therapy, pain management and referral assistance.

 

YOUNG HERO

Bryce Brooks. of Georgia, is selected for his Singular Act of Heroism on April 6, 2023, when he sprang into action, running with two others to help four children struggling in strong currents off the Florida Panhandle. Brooks was calling out for the children in the water he was trying to rescue while being pulled under the water, ultimately losing his own life.

Evan Diprima, of New York,  is selected for his Singular Act of Heroism on July 22, 2023, while attending a birthday party, a young girl approximately 10 years old was stuck underwater trapped in a flotation device flailing.  Evan leaped over a table and jumped into the pool fully clothed.  He was able to remove the girl free and pull her out of the water to safety.

Austen Macmillan, of Florida, is selected for his Singular Act of Heroism on September 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.

Joe Salmon, of Iowa, is selected for his Singular Act of Heroism on January 4, 2023, when he jumped into action and saved the life of an elderly man and his dog who were trapped in a car that had fallen into an icy lake.

 

YOUTH SERVICE

Ethan D. Hill, of Alabama, is selected as a Youth Service Award Finalist for his work to assist the homeless community in and around Birmingham. He founded Ethan’s Heart Bags4Blessings to raise funds, awareness and contributions for the homeless community.

Alice Jane Kratz, of Michigan, is selected as a Youth Service Award Finalist for her passion to orchestrate an Honor Flight through her work as the Michigan President of the Children of the American Revolution. She raised funds and awareness for an Honor Flight mission dedicated solely to the Michigan C.A.R. Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight to provide 80 Vietnam Veterans with a day of honor in Washington, D.C. on June 18, 2022

Connor Nicol, of New Hampshire is selected as a Youth Service Award Finalist for founding the “We Will Remember” project, which creates memorial dog tags for each service member lost and then is given to those who request for their memory to live on.

Brynne Rhodes, of California, is selected as a Youth Service Award Finalist for creating the pink lemonade stand challenge for a nationwide effort to raise money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, in honor of her mother.

Gabrielle Tobin, of Georgia, is selected as a Youth Service Award Finalist for her work to develop “For Math’s Sake: Peer-toPeer Videos,” to assist Title I middle school students in Georgia and beyond with math proficiency at a time when hybrid and virtual learning were prevalent because of the COVID pandemic. Her non-profit, “40MustardSeeds” provides a broad impact on education in her community and beyond.

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE

America’s VetDogs, of New York, is selected as a Community Service Finalist 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.

Folds of Honor, located in Oklahoma, is selected as a Community Service Finalist for its commitment to providing life-changing scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled military. The folded flag is a constant reminder of those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. It inspires us to help equip and educate their loved ones in need of our support.

Freedom Service Dogs of America (FSD), located in Colorado, Freedom Service Dogs of America is selected as a Community Service Finalist for their service to our country’s veterans with PTSD, children and teens with autism and other neurocognitive disabilities, and individuals with physical challenges resulting from conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injury. For people with disabilities, a custom-trained assistance dog from Freedom Service Dogs of America can open the door to new possibilities.

The Patriot Military Family Foundation, located in North Carolina, is selected as a Community Service Finalist for its commitment to enable Armed Forces Family members to facilitate a quality of life commensurate with all Americans for whom these heroes and family members sacrificed. The Foundation provides our military members and their families with the dignity and respect owed them by our Nation for its commitment and selfless service in preserving our freedoms and help support their financial, physical, and emotional needs.

 

More information on the finalists and the Citizen Honors awards is available by contacting Kristi Hellmuth at 703-731-1042 or [email protected] or visit https://www.cmohs.org/citizen-honors


Learn More about the Citizen Honors Awards