Congressional Medal of Honor Society Announces 2015 Patriot Awards

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society will present its annual Patriot Awards to Marine Corps Commandant Joseph F. Dunford Jr., New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Bob Woodruff of ABC News and celebrity Chef Robert Irvine as part of the Medal of Honor Society’s annual convention that will be held in Boston this September.

General Dunford, a Boston native, will receive the Patriot Award, the highest award given by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. It is presented to a distinguished American who exemplifies the ideals that make America strong. Recipients of this rare and unique award have demonstrated their dedication to freedom, their love for fellow man, and their allegiance to our flag with a full understanding of its demands. It is the Society’s way of recognizing those who have devoted themselves to keeping America strong and a beacon of liberty to people throughout the world.

General Dunford is the son of a retired Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Police Department and graduated from Boston College High School and from St. Michael's College. He was commissioned in 1977. He previously served as the Commander, International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces – Afghanistan - from February 2013 to August 2014. General Dunford has served as an infantry officer at all levels. During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, he commanded the 5th Marine Regiment.

Robert Kraft will receive the Society’s Distinguished Citizen Award, which is awarded to Americans dedicated to freedom and the ideals of the society. Kraft and his family have been one of New England's most philanthropic, donating more than $100 million in support of local charities and civic affairs while also honoring and supporting our veterans at both Patriots games and events.

In addition to owning the four-time Super Bowl Champion Patriots, Kraft founded The Kraft Group to serve as the holding company for the family's varied business interests, which are concentrated in five specific areas: the distribution of forest products, paper and packaging manufacturing, sports and entertainment, real estate development and private equity and venture investing.

Bob Woodruff will receive the Society’s “Tex” McCrary Award for Excellence in Journalism. This award is given to those impacting the country through unbiased reporting of military topics. 

Woodruff was severely injured by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq in 2006 and his traumatic brain injury nearly killed him. But his miraculous recovery inspired his family to do one thing: Give our injured heroes access to the high level of support and resources they deserve, for as long as they need it. That wish became their mission in the form of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Since 2006, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $25 million and reached more than two million injured service members, veterans and their families in three key areas: Education and Employment; Rehabilitation and Recovery; and Quality of Life.

Robert Irvine will receive the Society’s Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment and support of our Service Members.

With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. Irvine brings his experience to Food Network as host of Restaurant: Impossible; he has been previously seen on Dinner: Impossible, Worst Cooks in America and Food Network Star's Star Salvation.

A native of England, Irvine joined the British Royal Navy at the age of 15, and his skills in the kitchen soon came to the attention of his superiors. Irvine was selected to work aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, where the royal family and its entourages regularly dined. Irvine is very dedicated to the military and our veterans. He has worked with the USO and with actor Gary Sinise and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors and supports our veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society will hold its annual convention in Boston for an unprecedented third time. Many of the nation’s 79 living Medal of Honor Recipients will be in Boston from September 15-19.

The 2015 convention will culminate with the Society’s Patriot Award Gala on Sept. 19 at the Boston Seaport Hotel where the Recipients will honor General Dunford, Robert Kraft, Bob Woodruff and Robert Irvine for their commitment to our veterans and men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.

Gary Sinise will serve as master of ceremonies for the Patriot Award Gala.