March 25 marks Medal of Honor Day, a date set aside to recognize those who have been awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor in action against enemy forces. We at Homes For Our Troops honor these Medal of Honor recipients on this day and every day for their courageous acts of bravery and service.
In light of the observance, here are some facts you might not know about the decoration:
- According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, there have been 3,505 brave individuals who have received the Medal of Honor since the decoration’s inception in 1861.
- Nineteen of the 3,505 recipients have received the medal twice.
- There are three different versions of the Medal of Honor —one each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Marines and Coast Guardsman receive the Navy version. Douglas Albert Munro is the only Coast Guardsmen to receive the Medal of Honor to date. Munro received his medal posthumously for evacuating 500 Marines off Guadalcanal under enemy fire during World War II.
- On March 25, 1863, Army Private Jacob Parrott received the first Medal of Honor for his actions during the Great Locomotive Chase during the Civil War. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins, who was killed while serving in Iraq, will become the latest to receive the Medal of Honor this week. The award will be presented to his family during a ceremony at the White House on March 27, 2019.
- There are eight civilians who have received the Medal of Honor. The civilian recipients were all from the Civil War era, including the only woman to receive the medal, Mary Edwards Walker, a surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War.