EXCLUSIVE: Medal of Valor Recipients Announced

By Jackson Richman

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump is expected to give the Medal of Valor to 12 recipients. The White House provided The National Discourse with this year’s honorees.

This year’s recipients, whose actions happened in 2016, are:

Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – 11 years of service

Corporal Rafael Ixco, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department  – 20 years of service

Detective Bruce Southworth, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – 7 years of service

District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office – 17 years of service

Officer Nicholas Koahou, Redlands Police Department – 10.5 years of service

Detective Brian Olvera, San Bernardino Police Department – 13 years of service

Chief Douglas Schroeder, Hesston Police Department – 21 years of service

Emergency Medical Technician Sean Ochsenbein, Putnam County Rescue Squad – 10 years of service

Lieutenant William Buchanan, Avery County Sheriff’s Office – 21 years of service

Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier, Jr., Redondo Beach Fire Department – 25 years of service

Officer Andrew Hopfensperger, Jr., Antigo Police Department – 9 years of service

Engineer Stephen Gunn, Peoria Fire-Medical Department – 12 years of service

Wallen, Ixco, Southworth, Johnson, Koahou, and Olvera were involved in the shootout against Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

Schroeder shot and killed Cedric Ford, who killed three people and injured 14 others at Excel Industries in Kansas.

Ochsenbein and Buchanan saved a man from a burning car in Tennessee.

Poirier saved three people who were swept into the ocean from the Redondo Beach breakwater in North Carolina while fishing. He also recovered a fourth person, who was dead on the scene.

Hopfensperger, along with another officer, worked security for Wisconsin’s Antigo High School’s prom, where four students were targeted as they left the event, with two of them shot, both nonfatal. The officers responded immediately and less than 20 seconds later, Hopfensperger shot and killed the suspect, 18-year-old Jakob Wagner. Hopfensperger is credited with saving the four and possibly many more lives.

Gunn rescued a man from a burning house in Arizona without regard for his own safety. He was treated for his burns at the Arizona Burn Center and was back on his next shift.

A White House spokesperson said that because the list was compiled before last week’s school shooting in Florida, none of the emergency personnel involved will be awarded in this ceremony. It is currently unknown if any will receive the honor in the future.

This year’s honorees were scheduled to receive the Medal of Valor last year, but the honor was given to five officers who responded to a shooting at a baseball field the previous month that seriously affected House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). The shooter was shot. Doctors said Scalise faced “imminent risk of death” when he arrived by airlift at MedStar with significant blood loss and damage to bones and internal organs.

About Jackson Richman 150 Articles
Jackson Richman is an editor at The National Discourse. His work has also been featured in The Weekly Standard, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, Tablet, The Daily Signal, The College Fix, The Huffington Post, The Forward, and other outlets. He has interviewed prominent personalities such as, but not limited to, Pulitzer Prize winners Thomas Friedman and Charles Krauthammer, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson, former State Department adviser David Makovsky, prominent American rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Iowa representative Steve King, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, comedian Adam Carolla, University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer, and British historian and intellectual Niall Ferguson.