Today is National Medal of Honor Day. The first Medal of Honor action was awarded to assistant surgeon Bernard J.D. Irwin, serving in the first major U.S. Apache conflict. Irwin led a group of 14 men who helped aid 60 men who were surrounded by the Chiricahua Apaches in 1861. The Medal of Honor award was not created till 1862, and it wasn’t until 1894 when Irwin received his medal. Since the first award was given there have been many brave men and women who have also received this honor. Here is what you need to know about the Medal of Honor:
13 Things You Should Know About The Medal Of Honor
- Guidelines for awarding the Medal of Honor:
- While engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States
- While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force
- While serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not belligerent party
- Medal of Honor Recipients: To date, there have been 3,515 Medals of Honor, presented to 3,495 men and women; some received two medals.
- There has only been one woman awarded the Medal of Honor, Mary Walker. She served as a nurse at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861.
- Theodore Roosevelt was the only President to receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic service in the Spanish-American War.
- The only Coast Guard Medal of Honor recipient was Douglas Munro, for his actions at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal in 1942.
- Willie Johnston was the youngest Medal of Honor recipient at just 11 and was granted it at 13. Johnston was a drummer boy with the 3rd Vermont Infantry during the Civil War. When his unit became overpowered by Confederate forces, soldiers retreated and discarded their equipment as they ran, to be able to keep pace. Johnston held on to his drum and played for the entire division. On July 4. Abraham Lincoln heard of his bravery and recommended him for the Medal of Honor.
- The Medal of Honor recommendation process can take up to 18 months. They carefully review every participant to make sure they meet all of the guidelines.
- The first African-American to receive the Medal of Honor was William Carney for his actions at Fort Wagner, SC in 1863.
- There have been 9 unknown soldiers that have received the Medal of Honor for their heroic service.
- There are only 19 people who have received the Medal of Honor twice.
- If you received a medal from the U.S. armed forces it is illegal to, sell, barter and or manufacture any decoration or medals authorized by congress.
- As of right now, there are 3 different versions of the Medal of Honor: One for the Navy, Army and Air Force. There has been a version made for the Coast Guard but it hasn’t been awarded. Individuals from the Coast Guard and Marine Corps receive the Navy Medal of Honor.
- It is illegal to wear someone else’s Medal of Honor, but it is not illegal to pretend you have one.
After reading all these amazing facts about the Medal of Honor, you may want to give back to our veterans. You can do so by donating an unused vehicle such as an ATV, RV, car or even boat to Vehicles For Veterans. We are a vehicle donation program that benefits veterans and their families. Our vehicle donation service is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our online donation form or call us at 1-855-811-4838. Once you have done this you will receive a call from us to schedule your pick up. Once your vehicle is picked up, you will receive a tax deductible receipt in the mail. Give back to those who have given so much to our country.