Here Are The 12 Heroes Trump Awarded The Medal Of Valor

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Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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President Donald Trump awarded 12 American heroes with a Medal of Valor Tuesday, the highest award possible for public safety officers.

“The 12 patriots we honor come from many places and serve in many different roles, but they all share one thing in common: when faced with danger, they each put the lives of others before their own,” Trump said during his remarks. “Some very brave people that I’m standing with today.”


Here is the full list of the 12 patriots who were honored at the ceremony.

The first six recipients — Deputy Wallen, Corporal Ixco, Detective Southworth, DA Investigator Johnson, Officer Koahou, and Detective Olvera — were all honored for their actions during the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, in 2015. All were involved in a deadly shootout with the two terrorists who killed 14 people that day.

1. Deputy Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

“Shot at him a handgun. I continued to shoot at him and he was hit several more times and he died there,” Deputy Wallen told NBC Los Angeles in 2016.

Wallen didn’t notice he had been hit by shrapnel until 12 hours after the gunfight.

2. Corporal Rafael Ixco, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Ixco, along with several others who responded to the San Bernardino attack, was previously awarded with a Governor’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in California.

3. Detective Bruce Southworth, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

“As I was driving up to Deputy Wallen’s vehicle, some of us exchanged fire with the female in the back of the SUV,” Deputy Southworth said of the shootout.

4. District Attorney Investigator Chad Johnson, San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office

“To look around and see all of the officers around you, we’re OK, was an incredible feeling,” Johnson, who was a detective at the time, said.

5. Officer Nicholas Koahou, Redlands Police Department

Officer Koahou suffered a gunshot wound to the leg during the shootout but continued to fire on the suspects after sustaining his injury.

“I wasn’t the only one out there,” Koahou said in August. “I had a team of warriors around me.”

6. Detective Brian Olvera, San Bernardino Police Department

“All Officer Olvera’s fired rounds came in the rescue attempt of Deputy Wallen,” a report from the incident states, noting that a group of officers hatched an escape plan to get Wallen out of the line of fire.

7. Chief Douglas Schroeder, Hesston Police Department

Chief Schroeder received the Medal of Valor for stopping an active shooter at Excel Industries in 2016. Schroeder entered the plant alone and shot and killed the gunman, who had already killed three employees and was going after others.

8. Emergency Medical Technician Sean Ochsenbein, Putnam County Rescue Squad

Ochsenbein, a medical student at Tennessee State University, was driving home from a ski trip when he came upon a fiery car accident. He pulled one of the victims from the burning vehicle to safety.

“We had less than a minute if this was going to work out,” he said. “How we were not burned, I don’t know. I will let that question stay with the Lord.”

9. Lieutenant William Buchanan, Avery County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Buchanan was also on scene during the car accident and worked with Ochsenbein to pull the man out of the burning vehicle.

“Just humbled to get it,” Buchanan said of receiving the Medal of Valor. “I don’t think I actually deserve it. I think the credit should be going to the good Lord, not me. He’s the one who put Sean and I together that night to save that life.”

10. Firefighter/Harbor Patrol Officer David Poirier Jr., Redondo Beach Fire Department

Poirier Jr. saved three people after a group of four were swept off of the Redondo Beach, California, shore while fishing in 2016. One victim had already died after hitting his head, but Piorer Jr. managed to stay afloat with the other three people clinging to him until backup arrived.

11. Officer Andrew Hopfensperger Jr., Antigo Police Department

Officer Hopfensberger Jr. stopped a gunman at Antigo High School in Wisconsin after the shooter shot and wounded two people. Both of the victims, who were attending the school’s junior prom, survived.

12. Engineer Stephen Gunn, Peoria Fire-Medical Department

Gunn was one of the first firefighters to arrive at a burning house in Peoria, Arizona, in 2016. He managed to rescue a man from inside the house.

“We were confronted by multiple bystanders and police officers saying that they could see someone inside the house lying on the floor, that they could not get to him,” said Gunn. “This whole experience has just been very humbling for me. If it was anyone of them that got off that truck first and were approached by those police officers, they would’ve done the same exact thing.”

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