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AWARDS

Lt. Walter Ehlers
Received WWII Congressional Medal of Honor

Lt. Walter Ehlers truly is a war hero. He repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points, exposing himself to hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership. Not even injury could stop him from leading his troops. After being wounded while diverting heavy hostile fire onto himself, permitting members of his squad to withdraw, Ehlers carried one of his wounded men to safety. After Ehlers injuries were treated he would not be sent home, but instead returned to his troops. Yet again Ehlers did not let his pain get in the way of his duty. He continued to lead his men, was wounded three more times and hospitalized twice. In 1944, he was allowed to go home and spend Christmas with his family, however, not being able to bear the idea of his men spending the holidays in the field facing the dangers of war, Ehlers went back and finished out the war with his battalion proving himself again as true hero.

Pat Tillman

Gave up his football career in May 2002 to join the Army Rangers and protect and serve his nation, demonstrating that there is more to life than money, fame and material goods
Known for his hard-hitting play as safety and special teams player for the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman broke the Cardinals’ franchise record for tackles in a season in 2000, notching 223.

How many people would relinquish millions of dollars, fame and popularity without even thinking twice? How many would be willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for millions of their fellow countrymen whom they ever even met? The answer to these questions is simple: Not many. Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman was more than just an athlete or a football star. He was more than just a man who knew how to make an open field tackle or intercept a football. What Tillman did for the United States, dying to preserve his nations truths and ideals, was a selfless and heroic act. He knew what he was risking when he decided to serve his country, but to him the advantages and rewards far outweighed the dangers. According to Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis, Tillman “represented all that was good in sports.” More importantly, however, Tillman represented al that’s good about America. When people look back at the life of Tillman they will reflect upon the life of a great American hero who took part in a battle more tough and more fierce than any that ever took place on the gridiron. He personified honor, dignity and courage, and it is because of men like him that Americans can cast their eyes upon the red, white and blue of the flag and become overwhelmed with an immense sense of pride that only true acts of heroism can evoke.

John W. Finn

In celebration of Victor winners this year we pause to focus our attention on the special 50th anniversary of the conclusion of WWII. On this auspicious occasion we honor those who put their lives on the line heroically for their country in that war.
One of America’s greatest heroes is with us tonight. John W. Finn was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism on December 7, 1941, at the Naval air station in Kaneohe Bay, 20 miles from Pearl Harbor. Finn is the first to have received this award for action taken on “THE DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY”.

During the first attack of Japanese aircraft on the Naval air station, five minutes before the assault on Pearl Harbor, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John W. Fin promptly secured and manned a 50 – caliber machine gun under continuous heavy strafing and bombing.
Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man his gun and to confront the enemy’s fire and bombing attacks with complete disregard for is own personal safety. It was only be specific orders that he was persuaded to leave his post to seek medical attention. Following first aid treatment, although suffering to the squadron area and supervised the rearming of returning planes.

His extraordinary heroism and conduct in this action were above and beyond the call of duty, and in keeping with the highest traditions of the US Naval Service.

Stephen Weiner

It is an honor to have been called to serve one’s country, and to have served it well. Stephen Wiener of the US Air Force is quite aware of such a patriotic purpose.

For five years, he served in the Air Force, earning rank as Major. He was a member of the 86th Observation Squadron at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and received his most momentous honor as being the soldier who captured the first prisoner of WWII.

“Time dictated the happenstance. I just happened to be on the beach when the prisoner came ashore from his submarine that had misdirected into a coral reef.”
Weiner tool the prisoner for interrogation, and though he is given credit for the incident, offers to share it with a Hawaiian National Guard Corporal who was there at the capture.
Years after the war, Weiner contacted Kazou Sakamaki the captured Japanese Ensign, and for the past 30 years, they have been friends.
Stephen Wiener served until 1945, having trained to be a combat intelligence officer. He is a proud member of those who fought to keep peace in our country and throughout the world during WWII.