News

In The News


OnValues Gabrielle Martin & Karen Patterson - May 16, 2024Gabrielle Martin OnValues 2024

Gabrielle Martin, daughter of Captain Robert L. Martin, a Tuskegee Airman, provided a captivating piece of World War II history at the Center for American Values last Thursday, 16 May 2024. Joining her for the presentation was Karen Patterson, Author of her recent published book titled Red Tail: A Tuskegee Airman’s Rendezvous with Destiny.

 

The story of Captain Martins’ resilience and determination to fly and defend his America as a fighter pilot was enjoyed by area students and individuals in the gallery and online.


► View On Demand


OnValues James P. Owen - May 15, 2024James P Owen OnValues 2024

Bestselling author, James P. Owen, delivered an engaging and important message on seven common-sense values of cowboys that lead to personal and professional fulfilment. The Fireside Chat was moderated by Kent Noble, a respected educator specializing in principle-based ethics at the University of Wyoming. The inspirational presentation was enjoyed by first responders, peace officers, local guests, and individuals who streamed the presentation online.


► View On Demand


Rest in Peace
Clarence Eugene Sasser
CLARENCE EUGENE SASSER

Medal of Honor Recipient Army Specialist 5 th Class Clarence Eugene Sasser passed away on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the age of 76.

 

Specialist Sasser grew up in the small town of Rosharon, Texas near Houston. He joined the Army in 1967 and arrived in Vietnam in late 1967. Sasser hadn’t been there for more than four months when he was put to the ultimate test as a medic on January 19, 1968. For his actions of valor that day, Sasser was awarded the military's highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

 

The Center for American Values extends our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

 
    • RANK: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS (RANK AT TIME OF PRESENTATION: SPECIALIST FIFTH CLASS; HIGHEST RANK: SPECIALIST FIFTH CLASS)
    • CONFLICT/ERA: VIETNAM WAR
    • UNIT/COMMAND:
      HEADQUARTERS & HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, 3D BATTALION, 60TH INFANTRY, 9TH INFANTRY DIVISION
    • MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. ARMY
    • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: JANUARY 10, 1968
    • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: DING TUONG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
    •  

CITATION: GO TO WWW.CMOHS.ORG/RECIPIENTS/CLARENCE-E-SASSER

       

We Honor Students Award CeremonyWe Honor Students Award Ceremony 2024

The Center for American Values hosted the 10th Annual "We Honor Students Award Ceremony" on May 9 in partnership with the Arkansas Valley Hospice of LaJunta. Sixteen students from La Junta, Las Animas, and Cheraw Schools (Grades 2-12) were represented. Students were nominated by teachers and administrators in recognition of their service to their school and community encompassing Honor, Integrity, and Patriotism. Students received a lesson on the Medal of Honor, walked the Walk of Valor, and received a memorable gift for their good citizenship and patriotism.


Students Empowered with Encouraging Message & ExperienceCAV LIVE Civics MOH Lesson May 7th

Photos courtesy of: Dalton Sprouse, Volunteer Photographer

 

On May 7th, 684 students, educators, and parents were reached through our LIVE and Online Civics-Based Ed Program, where 217 students were hosted inside of CAV’s Portraits of Valor Gallery. Medal of Honor Recipient, Major Drew Dix delivered remarks followed by a series of questions in the gallery and online to students across Colorado and 5 other states. Many students stated it was a "life-changing" experience.


Schools Present: Pueblo County JROTC; Monument Academy; Roncalli Middle School; La Junta JROTC Jr./Sr. High Schools


► View On Demand


OnValues On The Road in Wyoming - May 3, 2024Drew Dix in Wyoming

 

Major Drew Dix, Medal of Honor Recipient, and the Center for American Values (CAV) received a warm Wyoming welcome from Sublette County students, veterans, and citizens this past week. Over 1,000 students from Pinedale and Big Piney filed into Pinedale Wrangler Gym or joined online Tuesday for an engaging and uplifting address presented by Major Dix.


Local Clear Out West Radio Host Andy Nelson emceed the event, the American Legion & Pinedale FFA Officers Posted the Colors, the High School Choir sang the National Anthem, and Randy Belton provided the Invocation.


Special guests attending included Wyoming Speaker of the House Albert Sommers, the American Legion, CAV Board Member Henry Jones, CAV Executive Director Sparky Turner, Kim Monson with the Kim Monson Show from Lonetree, Colorado, and numerous local officials.


Lis Richard, the CAV Education Director provided an overview on the Medal of Honor for the students and assisted with a robust series of questions from students to Major Dix.


Robin Schamber and the Sublette BOCES hosted the event with support from Marathon Oil, Jonah Energy, PureWest, MPLX LP, and other local donors.


► View On Demand


CAV Hosts Heritage ElementaryHeritage Elementary

 

Thirty-four Heritage Second Graders took part in a CAV Live Class at the Center on Thursday, April 18. Education Director, Lis Richard, provided an interactive lesson on Honor, Integrity, and Patriotism and heroism. Noted as an exemplary group of students, the class ended with a Walk of Valor.


American Hero to Lie in Honor at US CapitolRalph Puckett and Soldiers

Photo by Sgt. Henry Villarama/Army

 

US Army Colonel Ralph Puckett, Jr., the last surviving Medal of Honor Recipient from the Korean War, will lie in honor at the United States Capitol on Monday, April 29th in recognition of his valor and sacrifice.


A rare honor, COL Puckett is one of two Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients to lie in honor at the US Capitol. Puckett was a decorated war hero that served his country for 22 years through multiple tours in Korea and Vietnam. He died at home on Monday, April 8th, at the age of 97.


National Medal of Honor Day
Monday, 25 March 2024
MOH Photos

 

National Medal of Honor Day was a captivating, moving day at the Center for American Values with four separate events and two Medal of Honor Recipients, Major Drew Dix and the Honorable Ron Ray the Former Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


The day launched at the Center with an engaging presentation by Lis Richard, CAV Education Director, on the Medal of Honor with area veterans, students, and volunteers. The day’s second hallmark event was held on the north side of Pueblo with Major Drew Dix and Pueblo Mayor Heather Graham unveiling the extension of the Drew Dix Parkway and the city’s new Medal of Honor signage. The project was led by Andrew Hayes, the Director of Public Works for the City of Pueblo.


Through lunch, guests were treated to the premiere of Major Dix’s interview with Dr. Ben Carson on his Common Sense podcast, Defending Our Values: Honoring American Heroes.

Ben and Drew

Drew Dix interview with Dr. Ben Carson on "Common Sense" podcast

► View On Demand

Capping off the Medal of Honor Day, a packed audience and online viewers listed to a series of captivation presentations from Medal of Honor Recipients Dix and Ray. Presentations were also provided by Medal of Honor Historian Doug Sterner, and the author of the “Little Blue Ribbon”, US Army CW2 Allen Hankins. Presentation of the Colors were provided by the US Army 743rd Intelligence Battalion of Buckley Space Force Base, CSU-Pueblo Graduate Desirree Floyd sang the National Anthem, and the invocation was delivered by US Army Infantry SSG Walter Lau Hee.

ONV Ron Ray Slide

National Medal of Honor Day | On Values Drew Dix and Ron Ray

► View On Demand

A tribute was also held in memory of four recent fallen Medal of Honor Recipients that included: Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, Frank Herda, Roger Donlon, and Larry Taylor.


Roger Donlon Celebration of LifeRoger Donlon Celebration of Life

 

In celebration of the life of the late Colonel Roger H. C. Donlon, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient (CMOH) US Army SF (R), Center for American Values Cofounder Major Drew Dix CMOH, CAV Board Members Sue Smith and Henry Jones, longstanding CAV friend Joan Annello, and CAV Staff, Tanya Quintana, traveled to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on April 10,2024.


Colonel Donlon was the first to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. Both serving in Vietnam, Donlon and Major Drew Dix, shared a friendship of 55 years. In his heartfelt remarks on Donlon’s life, Dix emphasized a quote that Donlon lived by, “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God”. Major Dix also commented on Donlon’s character and acts of service to America, in saying, “The dignity that Roger gave to the warrior class is a legacy that will last forever. The commitment and impact he had on our youth is long lasting.“


Colonel Donlon cared deeply for the current generation of warriors which was evidenced by the A-726 pallbearers carrying him to his final resting place and the hundreds of Special Forces brothers who gathered to honor his life.


The ceremony included recorded interviews with Colonel Donlon and his wife, Norma.


Heartfelt songs and memories were shared by service members and civilians.


Medal of Honor Recipients James McCloughan, Donald “Doc” Ballard, and Britt Slabinski, President of CMOH Society, were also in attendance.


Roger Donlon Celebration of Life | Livestream

► View On Demand


Bessemer Academy Visits Center
Bessemer Academy Visits Center

The Center hosted a field trip for 32 Bessemer Academy 2nd Grade students on Tuesday, March 19th. Students visited the Center where they learned about and participated in activities around Everyday Heroes. At the conclusion of the class, students experienced the Walk of Valor and the Center Event Coordinator, Tanya Quintana, shared history of the students' hometown, the Pueblo Home of Heroes.


Rest in Peace
Ralph Puckett
RALPH PUCKETT, JR.

Retired Colonel Ralph Puckett, Jr., the last living Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient, passed away on April 8, 2024, in Columbus, Georgia, at the age of 97. Born on December 8, 1926, US Army Colonel Puckett enlisted at age 17 in the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps. A few years later, he was discharged to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduation in 1949, he was asked to command a newly activated Rangers company that had not been active since World War II, then was deployed to Korea. Colonel Puckett received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Unsan in North Korea in 1950. Outnumbered 10 to 1, First Lt. Ralph Puckett Jr. led his Rangers company in an attack on Hill 205. His extraordinary valor and leadership allowed the Rangers to locate and destroy enemy positions and seize the hill. President Joseph Biden Jr. presented Puckett with the Medal of Honor at the White House on May 21, 2021, an upgrade from his first of two Distinguished Service Crosses. Puckett also served in the Vietnam War, retiring as a Colonel following a 22-year career. He was awarded two Silver Stars in Vietnam and earned five Purple Hearts across the two wars, as well as two Bronze Stars with "V" device for valor. He remained an important figure among U.S. Army Rangers and served as an "Honorary Colonel".

 
    • RANK: FIRST LIEUTENANT (HIGHEST RANK: COLONEL)
    • CONFLICT/ERA: KOREAN WAR
    • UNIT/COMMAND:
      8TH RANGER COMPANY, 8213TH ARMY UNIT, 8TH U.S. ARMY
    • MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. ARMY
    • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: NOVEMBER 25 - 26, 1950
    • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: HILL 205, VICINITY OF UNSAN, KOREA
    •  

CITATION: GO TO WWW.CMOHS.ORG/RECIPIENTS/RALPH-PUCKETT-JR

       

Teachers Encouraged to Schedule Educational Field Trip
St Therese Catholic Schools

St. Therese Catholic School's 4th and 5th Grade Students visited the Center for American Values on March 7th. The students learned about the United States’ highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, and the heroes awarded. At the conclusion of class, students were asked to write a paper on their personal “Hero," select a Medal of Honor Recipient to research and report on, and then experienced the Walk of Valor and a visit to Veterans Bridge.


Young Life students from Azusa Pacific University
Young Life Students

Young Life students on spring break from Azusa Pacific University, a private evangelical research university in Azusa, California, assisted and worked at various service project sites across the Pueblo Community this past week. The group concluded their week with a visit to the Center for American Values to acquaint themselves with the Center, the Medal of Honor, and view the “Portraits of Valor” and recipient quotes in the Gallery. The students noted the quote that best reflected their work was Medal of Honor Recipient Master Sergeant Leroy Petry’s quote, “Do something today to better others and yourself.”


CAV In Full Swing With HIP Civics-Based Ed Classes
Villa Bella Visit 2024

We hosted 47 Villa Bella Expeditionary Elementary School 4th Grade Students on Tuesday, March 5th. Jennifer Prescia, CAV Educational Assistant, led an in-person Medal of Honor Class and students walked the "Walk of Valor" and enjoyed the Pueblo Four Medal of Honor Recipient statues located in the Medal of Honor Plaza at the Pueblo Convention Center.


 

Previous News

CAV Provided HIP Ed Class & Tour for Beulah Heights Elementary Students
Beulah Heights Students

We hosted 33 Beulah Heights 4th Grade Students on Thursday, February 15. Lis Richard, Education Development Director, led an in-person Medal of Honor Class that included a student challenge to read and select their favorite Medal of Honor Recipient quote from the gallery of Portraits of Valor. After class, the students walked the “Walk of Valor” across Veterans Bridge along the Historic Pueblo Riverwalk.


Colorado State Charter School Conference
CAV at Charter School Confrence

Pictured l to r: Henry Jones, CAV Board Member; Jennifer Prescia, CAV Education Assistant; Lis Richard, Education Development Director; and Dave Richard, CAV Volunteer.

The Center for American Values is in Denver visiting with teachers, education leaders, and parents at the Colorado State Charter School Conference while sharing information on their Civics-Based Education that emphasizes and inspires honor, integrity and patriotism in students.


Rest in Peace
Larry Taylor
LARRY L. TAYLOR

Former U.S. Army Captain Larry L. Taylor passed away at his home in Signal Mountain, Tennessee on January 28, 2024. Captain Taylor was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Joe Biden at the White House on September 5, 2023, for his heroic actions and conspicuous gallantry while serving as a helicopter pilot with Troop D (Air), 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division, during the Vietnam War in 1968.

 
    • RANK: FIRST LIEUTENANT (HIGHEST RANK: CAPTAIN)
    • CONFLICT/ERA: VIETNAM WAR
    • UNIT/COMMAND:
      1ST SQUADRON, 4TH U.S. CAVALRY, 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION
    • MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. ARMY
    • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: JUNE 18, 1968
    • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: NEAR THE VILLAGE OF AP GO CONG, BÌNH DƯƠNG PROVINCE, VIETNAM
    •  

CITATION: GO TO WWW.CMOHS.ORG/RECIPIENTS/LARRY-L-TAYLOR

       

Rest in Peace
Roger Donlon
ROGER H.C. DONLON

Retired Army Col. Roger H. C. Donlon, the first Recipient of the Medal of Honor for the Vietnam War, passed away January 25, 2024, in Leavenworth, Kansas, at the age of 89.

President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Donlon with the Medal of Honor on Dec. 5, 1964, for his actions near Nam Dong, the Republic of Vietnam, on July 6, 1964.

       
        • RANK: CAPTAIN (HIGHEST RANK: COLONEL)
        • CONFLICT/ERA: VIETNAM WAR
        • UNIT/COMMAND:
          DETACHMENT A-726, 7TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE), 1ST SPECIAL FORCES
        • MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. ARMY
        • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: JULY 6, 1964
        • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: NEAR NAM DONG, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
        •  

CITATION: GO TO WWW.CMOHS.ORG/RECIPIENTS/ROGER-H-DONLON


 

Cherry Creek School District 11th Annual Awards Ceremony
Cherry Creek and CAV Staff 2023

Through a partnership with the Cherry Creek School District and the Center for American Values (CAV), the 11th Annual Awards Ceremony and Program was hosted at CAV recognizing 22 top K-12 students for their written compositions on their appreciation for Veterans and allegiance to America.
A surprise visit and presentation by Medal of Honor Recipient Drew Dix, highlighted the student's special day that concluded with a ceremony that recognized and awarded each composition winner. The CAV's lead Education Program Developer, Lis Richard, lead the event and provided a learning segment on the history of the Medal of Honor, the United States highest award for military valor in action.
JROTC from Pueblo County High School lead the Color Guard Presentation and local vocalist, Praxedes Quintana, sang the National Anthem. Special guests were CAV Board Member Henry Jones and Joan Annello.


We Salute Our Veterans


Greatest Generation Veteran Celebrates 100th Birthday!!
Bruce Elson

Bruce Elson, World War II Army Air Corps and Greatest Generation Veteran,
Celebrates 100th Birthday today, November 30, 2023.
We salute you and thank you for your service!


Jones Reports from Washington, D.C.
Jones Report

CAV Board Member Henry Jones, Vietnam Veteran Charles Smith, the Rocky Mountain Honor Flight Team, and other Veterans, concluded their Washington, D.C., trip on October 21st. They visited the Korean and Vietnam Memorials, gravesite of Audi Murphy (a medal of honor recipient, at Arlington National Cemetery), and the Marine Memorial.


Rest in Peace
Frank Aloysious Herda
Frank Aloysious Herda

      • RANK: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS (HIGHEST RANK: SPECIALIST FOURTH CLASS)
      • CONFLICT/ERA: VIETNAM WAR
      • UNIT/COMMAND:
        COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION (AIRBORNE), 506TH INFANTRY,
        101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION (AIRMOBILE)
      • MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. ARMY
      • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: JUNE 29, 1968
      • MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: NEAR DAK TO, QUANG TRANG PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
      • PRESENTATION DATE & DETAILS: MAY 14, 1970
        THE WHITE HOUSE, PRESENTED BY PRES. RICHARD M. NIXON
      • BORN: SEPTEMBER 13, 1947, CLEVELAND, CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH, UNITED STATES
      • DIED: OCTOBER 13, 2023, CLEVELAND, OH, US

 

    Social Media