Medal of Honor Recipients gathered in Los Angeles Feb. 23 to announce the opening of their Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Western Region Office.
Local government and business leaders also attended the opening ceremony held at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles, where the Foundation office is located.
“We are thrilled to have opened our regional office in Los Angeles,” said Tom Kelley, Medal of Honor Recipient and president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “Our presence here will help us further expand our character and recognition programs in the western U.S. and give us an opportunity to establish relationships with business and community leaders who want to support what we do.”
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation was chartered by the Recipients of the Medal of Honor in 1999. The Foundation operates nationwide education, recognition and outreach programs to teach all Americans, and especially the youth of America, that they can make a difference in the lives of others if they live by the values embodied in the Medal of Honor: courage and sacrifice, commitment and integrity, citizenship and patriotism.
During the ceremony, Jonathan Club president Michael Flynn read a proclamation from Mayor Eric Garcetti officially welcoming the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to Los Angeles. City Councilmember Jose Huizar and Fernando Delgado from the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis also issued proclamations to the Foundation.
“Opening our Western Region Office is a giant step for us,” said Ron Rand, Foundation president and CEO. “It enables us, on behalf of the Medal of Honor Recipients we serve, to bring our character development, recognition and outreach programs to millions more Americans. We’re grateful to the Jonathan Club for partnering with us on this exciting endeavor.”
The Jonathan Club provided the office space for the Foundation. Two former members of the private club, Major General Henry Lawton, U.S. Army, and Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, U.S. Navy, were Medal of Honor Recipients. More than 30 Jonathans have made the ultimate sacrifice in military service to America.
“We’re honored to be the Los Angeles home for the Medal of Honor Recipients and their Foundation,” said Flynn. “Many Jonathans are veterans, and all are strong supporters of the military. We’re privileged to support America’s truest heroes in their quest to help all Americans realize they can be heroes to someone, too.”
Rand also announced that the Foundation will present Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist Edward P. Roski, Jr., the Circle of Honor Award at a gala on October 7 to be held at the Jonathan Club. The Foundation’s highest honor, the Circle of Honor Award pays tribute to American citizens who have made profound contributions to our Nation and way of life through a lifetime of placing others first.
“I’m deeply humbled by this recognition from the Medal of Honor Foundation,” said Roski, president and chairman of the board of Majestic Realty Co. “I’m also proud the Medal of Honor Recipients picked our city to establish their first regional office. It’s a real tribute to the patriotism, leadership and opportunity in our city.”
Since 2010, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, has taught its Character Development Program (CDP) to teachers across the U.S., including more than 900 in California. Based on the six values embodied in the Medal and an extensive library of Medal of Honor living histories, the CDP has a curriculum tailored for students in K-6 and middle and high school.
Medal of Honor Recipients also present Citizen Honors Awards annually to everyday heroes who have made a difference in the lives of others through their courageous actions or selfless service. The awards are presented each year on March 25, National Medal of Honor Day, in Washington, D.C.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by the Congress in 1958 to create a brotherhood among the living Medal of Honor recipients, to protect and uphold the dignity and honor of the Medal, to promote patriotism and love of country, and to inspire our youth to become worthy and dedicated citizens of our nation. Its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. Today, there are 75 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. The Society is unique in that its membership hopes that there will be no need to welcome new inductees.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation was founded in 1999 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal. Through character development, scholarship and citizen recognition programs based on the values embodied in the Medal — courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism — the Foundation teaches all citizens that they can make a difference in the lives of others. The Foundation also supports the important work of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with Tax ID #25-1828488, the Foundation carries a rating of 4/4 stars for fiscal management, accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, America’s premiere nonprofit evaluator.
For more information, visit www.cmohfoundation.org.