(PRWEB) November 4, 2004
During a series of meetings which were held on Sept. 28th Â Oct. 2nd, 2004, nearly 70 descendants of living and deceased MOH Recipients gathered in Pueblo, Colorado for the inaugural meeting of a new organization, Family and Friends of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The centerpiece of the three-day meeting was a special premier showing of a new two-hour documentary "Beyond the Medal of Honor" - which is the story of Pueblo's four Medal recipients: William Crawford, Raymond "Jerry" Murphy, Carl Sitter and Drew Dix. The film will be shown on PBS stations nationally in November. H. Ross Perot and his philanthropy, The Perot Foundation, provided funding for the development of this documentary and Mr. Perot has pledged to provide a copy of the film for every high school in the nation.
On the final day of the three day meetings, Family and Friends of living and deceased MOH Recipients organized a new organization called Family and Friends of the Congressional Medal of Honor(FFCMOH). FFCMOH is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Colorado whose Mission shall be: "To perpetuate the history and heritage of the Medal of Honor, and to educate future generations about the recipients' values of courage, commitment and sacrifice." In a recent letter to his fellow Medal of Honor Recipients, WWII Medal of Honor Recipient and past-president of the Medal of Honor Society Robert Bush wrote: "When we are gone from this divine world, it will be our family and friends who will be dedicated to carry on the legacy of the Medal of Honor for future generations of Americans." Doug Sterner who is a Military Historian and who also helped organize the three day event in Pueblo, Colorado indicated The importance of this new organization is not so much solely to honor and pay tribute to heroes of the past, but to preserve the message they, by their valor, have to say to the heroes of the future. Doug was quoted as saying, ÂBehind every Medal of Honor is a person, for every person there is a story, and in every story can be found an important lesson. When that hero's memory becomes lost in time, we loose that lesson that might otherwise inspire and encourage future generations."
NOTE: The members understand that the proper name for our nation's highest military award is simply "Medal of Honor" but voted to include the word "Congressional" because today there exist many organizational medals of honor that might be confused with this distinctive award. During the first official meeting, the Charter Members present elected the following
President Â Alabama State Senator Henry ÂHankÂ Erwin Â son of WWII Recipient SSgt. Henry E. Erwin.
Vice President Â Pam Clark, Olympia, WA Â daughter of Vietnam Recipient SSgt. Elmelindo R. Smith
Secretary Â Wendy Allaire, Palm Desert, CA Â daughter of WWII Recipient Col. Mitchell Paige.
The Nation was apportioned into seven regions, mirroring the manner in which the Congressional Medal of Honor Society has established its own regions. The following individuals were elected Regional Directors:
Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, & VT) Â Kathleen Wilkins (ME), niece of WWII Recipient Major.Raymond H. Wilkins.
Region 2 (DE, DC, KY, MA, OH, VA, & WV) Â Ron Tarburton (DE), Friend and Historian of MOH Recipients.
Region 3 (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN, Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands) Â USAF MSgt. Randolph Wells (FL), friend of MOH Recipients.
Region 4 (TX, NM, OK, AR, & LA) Â Noel Benavidez (TX) son of Vietnam Recipient MSgt. Roy P. Benavidez
Region 5 (IL, IA, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, WI, SD, & ND) Kelly Sullivan-Loughren (IA), granddaughter of the late Albert Sullivan, youngest of the five Sullivan brothers who were sailors aboard the USS Juneau when it sank on 11/13/42.
Region 6a (AK, WA, OR, ID, WY, MT) Â Jack Clark (WA) who is married to Pam Clark, Secretary.
Region 6b (HI, CA, NV, UT, CO, AZ) Â Jim Stuart (CO), friend of MOH Recipients.
Sergeant-At-Arms: Don Pettigrew, Gainsville, TX, Friend of MOH Recipient and a member of the Medal of Honor Host City Program.
Official Historian: Barrett Tillman, Friend of MOH and acclaimed author and military historian.
In the coming year as each region is built up, it is our hope that local conferences will be held, as we prepare for another National convention some time in 2006. This organization is open to anyone who is a descendant and/or friend of a deceased or living MOH Recipient. We encourage all of those who are interested in perpetuating the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients to please visit http://www.homeofheroes.com/family and make contact with the Regional Director for your home state. Your support and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
FFCMOH Â Region 4 Director
# # #