The Medal of Honor Knoxville Convention Committee Announces Distinguished Group of 2014 Awardees
This spring, the Medal of Honor Knoxville Convention Committee announced an impressive list of awardees to receive the 2014 Congressional Medal of Honor Society Awards. The recipients come from all walks of life, but share the common thread of commitment to the U.S. military. Knoxville will have the privilege of welcoming a Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice, a golf writer and broadcaster, a news anchor, and a Hollywood actor to town to receive their respected awards at the Patriot Awards Gala on September 13.
“As a convention committee, we … are thrilled [all awardees] have been approved by the Society’s board of directors for their outstanding achievements within their fields and for their commitments to the U.S. military,” said Joe Thompson, co-chairman of the Convention. “We are eagerly awaiting the Patriot Awards Gala, which is a black tie event that will be hosted by actor and former Society Award honoree Gary Sinise.”
Here are the winners for the 2014 Congressional Medal of Honor Society Awards:
Samuel Alito, Jr.
U.S. Army veteran and Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. will receive the Patriot Award this fall. This award is presented to individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to American freedom and the ideals embodied within the Medal of Honor. It is the most prestigious award presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Writer and broadcaster for CBS Sports and The Golf Channel, David Feherty, will receive the Distinguished Citizen Award for his founding of the “Troops First Foundation,” which assists wounded soldiers coming home from war. The award is given to Americans dedicated to freedom and the ideals of the Society, which Feherty has done time and time again. He has made multiple trips to Iraq and is always committed to helping servicemen and women.
“Losing a limb, or the ability to use a limb, is one thing,” Feherty said in his biography. “But the dignity they lose with it is perhaps even more important. And to be able to give them some of that dignity back is my mission these days. It’s not a charity. It’s just us trying to pay back a very small part of the check that we owe them.”
Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of CNN news show The Lead will receive the “Tex” McCrary Award for Excellence in Journalism. This award is given to those impacting the country through unbiased reporting of military topics. Tapper was nominated for the award after writing his recent book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, recounting one of the deadliest American battles in Afghanistan, from which two individuals received the Medal of Honor for their heroism. He is also well known for his military reporting and coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg will receive this year’s Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment for his support of American troops and his positive portrayal of the military on film. Wahlberg recently played Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of Operation Redwing, in his new movie Lone Survivor. Wahlberg’s latest film depicts four Navy SEALs on a mission to capture a top Taliban leader. One SEAL, Michael Murphy, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the battle.
“It is a tremendous honor for the city of Knoxville to welcome these men to town,” said Thompson. “As a city we want to show our appreciation to Alito, Feherty, Tapper and Wahlberg for all they have done for our troops and country.”