ARLINGTON,Va. – Monsignor Joe Carroll didn’t want to accept any more awards for his work building shelters for homeless people in San Diego until he heard Medal of Honor recipients wanted to present him with one.
Carroll and three others were presented with the Citizen Service Before Self Honor at a ceremony Monday at Arlington National Cemetery for their acts of bravery or contributions to the public. The award was given by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
“When the Medal of Honor guys call you up – I mean,our heroes,the greatest heroes in America – they come say ‘we think you do wonderful work,we want to honor you,’ I feel awed that these gentlemen that risk their lives think I do good work,” Carroll said.
Two more awards were given to three others. Marcos Urgate,15,of Troutdale,Ore.,ran into a burning house to save a boy trapped inside.
Father and son Jesse Shaffer III and Jessie Shaffer IV,of Braithwaite,La.,received the award for using a boat to save 120 people during Hurricane Isaac last year.
The four winners were chosen from 23 finalists.
Jim Miklaszewski,chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News,hosted the ceremony.
“They’re seemingly ordinary Americans,but far from it,really,” Miklaszewski said. “They represent the true spirits of our country,going above and beyond for their communities,our nation and our fellow Americans.”
The award was presented on the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor,the highest military award given by the United States.
At the ceremony,the award sponsors said the foundation will present a separate award for the educators who were killed in Newtown,Conn.,in late spring.
Before the ceremony a wreath was laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns in honor of the recipients and finalists.
Reach reporter Jasmine Aguilera at [email protected] or 202-326-9866. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.