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13-Year-Old Who Saved 17 Of His Neighbors During Hurricane Harvey Receives Congressional Citizen Honors Award

13-Year-Old Who Saved 17 Of His Neighbors During Hurricane Harvey Receives Congressional Citizen Honors Award

Photo credit: Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes

Do you remember 13-year-old Virgil Smith, who used an air mattress to save 17 of his neighbors from the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey last year?

Well, now the neighborhood hero of Dickinson, Texas has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Young Hero Award for the incredible act of courage and selflessness that he demonstrated on August 26, 2017. Since that day, Smith has also received several local awards, including an award from the Hitchcock Chamber of Commerce, the Texas city where Smith now attends school. 

Photo via: KHOU11 

Monica Cantwell of the Hitchcock Chamber of Commerce said of Smith, "He's a very shy young man, and that's what makes it even more impressive, that he would risk his life." 

Smith received the Young Hero Award last Friday during a special ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia. As released by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the other 2018 Citizen Honors recipients include:

"Robert Engle of La Vergne, Tennessee, selected for his courageous act on September 23, 2017, when he subdued a gunman inside Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. Engle’s actions prevented further loss of life in the deadly shooting.

Matthew Cobos of Trabuco Canyon, California, selected for his courageous act on October 1, 2017, when he shielded and provided life-saving medical treatment to concertgoers injured in a mass shooting during the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada.

Kimberly Scofi of Atlanta, Georgia, selected for her selfless service in support of veterans through her work with United Military Care and other veterans-based service organizations.

Veterans Heritage Project of Phoenix, Arizona, selected for the Community Service Hero Award for its innovative after-school course for middle and high school students that provides an enriching educational experience by connecting them with US military veterans in a nationally renowned oral history and publication program. As a result, thousands of veterans’ oral histories have been donated to the Library of Congress." 

We salute and thank you all for your incredible acts of courage and bravery.