2 Washington residents, including SPU shooting hero, honored by Congressional Medal of Honor Society
ARLINGTON, Va. — Two Washington state residents, including the man who subdued a gunman shooting students at Seattle Pacific University, received 2015 Citizen Honors from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Wednesday.
The ceremony included a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
Ron Rand, president and CEO of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, said that on “Medal of Honor Day, America’s truest heroes also present their highest honor, the Citizen Service Before Self Awards, to three ordinary Americans who have performed extraordinary deeds.”
“It may have been a single instance of bravery, or through a lifetime of service to others. These acts of courage and self-sacrifice embody the American spirit, and are recognized every year on National Medal of Honor Day,” said Rand.
The 2015 Citizen Honors recipients, selected for their acts of courage and selfless service, are:
Jon Meis of Renton, Washington, was selected for his heroism on June 5, 2014, when he disarmed and subdued a shooter on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.
Meis “is selected for his singular act of heroism during a violent and deadly shooting spree at Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 2014. While serving as a student-building monitor and teaching assistant, John Meis risked his life when he pepper sprayed the shooter as the shooter stopped to reload his shotgun. Meis tackled the assailant and with the help of others subdued him until police arrived. Although one student was killed and three others were injured, the casualties could have been much worse if Meis had not acted to protect others. In recognition of his selfless act, Seattle Pacific University has established a scholarship in Meis’ name.”
Seattle Pacific University wrote on its Facebook page, “Congratulations, Jon. We couldn’t be more grateful.”
Michael G. Reagan, a Vietnam veteran from Edmonds, Washington, was selected for his service in founding the non-profit Fallen Heroes Project, which provides hand-drawn portraits to the families of all servicemen and women who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Steadfast to his mission of honoring and remembering our Nation’s service members killed in action, Reagan has created over 4,000 portraits, free of charge for surviving Gold Star families since 2004. Reagan draws at least two to three portraits a day, seven days a week. His artistic portraits are a crucial part of healing and remembrance process for our service member families.”
Alton Brieske of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was selected for his heroism on December 10, 2014 when he plunged into a snake and alligator infested canal to rescue and resuscitate an unresponsive driver from a submerged vehicle.
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military honor, presented for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. There are only 79 living Medal of Honor recipients.