Three Veteran Heroes discussed courage and selfless service

(Left to right)  Medal of Honor recipients Command Sergeant Major Robert Patterson, Colonel Wesley Fox and Colonel Leo Thorsness visited the sixth grade students of Gettysburg Middle School as a part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program.

(Left to right) Medal of Honor recipients Command Sergeant Major Robert Patterson, Colonel Wesley Fox and Colonel Leo Thorsness visited the sixth grade students of Gettysburg Middle School as a part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program.

There are four important things in life to remember, Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Leo Thorsness told Gettysburg Middle School students: Family, friends, faith and fun.

“Remember those four things, and you’ll be happy in life,” Thorsness said.

Medal recipients attended six local middle and high schools as part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program on Friday, September 20, 2013. Medal of Honor recipients Command Sergeant Major Robert Patterson, Colonel Wesley Fox and Colonel Leo Thorsness talked to the sixth, seventh and eight grade students at the Gettysburg Middle School. The three recipients discussed their actions at war, what they learned from the experiences and what students should emphasize in life.

Students were able to ask the recipients questions, which ranged from what the medal meant to them personally, to their experiences in combat, to simply asking about their lives in general.  The students sat in awe as the three heroes discussed the events that led to their medals, and how the students can prepare for future success in life.

“Look at your life like you’re building a house,” advised Patterson. “The most important part is the foundation, which you’re building right now.”

The education outreach occurred during the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention weekend, which occurs annually to reunite the living recipients as they continue to inspire America’s youth and honor those for their service. This year, over half of the 79 living recipients gathered in Gettysburg for the planned events. Gettysburg is an especially unique location for this year’s convention as 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the awarding of the first Medal of Honor in March of 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg, where sixty-three Medals were awarded, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

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