To receive a congressional medal of honor, one must ignore fear and danger to perform a deed of personal bravery or self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty while a member of the armed forces in actual combat with an enemy of the nation.
Medal of Honor
Secretary of the Army Award for Valor
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of Congress to US military personnel only. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
There have been 3,468 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen since the decoration's creation in 1861. There were no military awards or medals in use at the beginning of the American Civil War (1861–1865). As the only award available during this conflict, almost half of all Medals of Honor presented to date were awarded for actions in the four years of the Civil War.
Joe C. Specker
The Secretary of the Army Award for Valor was established 15 April 2002, to acknowledge acts of heroism or bravery connected with an Army employee or Army activity, or that is some way benefits the Army. The performance of the act must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty. The equivalent military decoration for this award is the Soldier's Medal.
Joe C. Specker (January 10, 1921 – January 7, 1944) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
Specker joined the Army from his birth city of Odessa, Missouri in September 1942, and by January 7, 1944 was serving as a Sergeant in the 48th Engineer Combat Battalion. On that day, at Mount Porchio, Italy, he voluntarily went forward alone to destroy an enemy machinegun emplacement. Although severely wounded during his advance, he continued on and routed the enemy force before succumbing to his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor six months later, on July 12, 1944.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.