The Department of Defense received The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundations Cutting Edge Award for embracing innovation and technology that has saved lives. Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, accepted the award at the foundations annual Circle of Honor dinner, this evening at the New York Stock Exchange, New York City.
In accepting the crystal award on behalf of the Defense Departments military health care professionals, Winkenwerder said, I am honored to accept this award that you have bestowed on our medical professionals. They indeed are heroes. In his remarks to the foundations audience he also said that he drew his greatest inspiration today from the sacrifice, and even heroism, of our military medics. During the Vietnam conflict alone, for example, 15 military medics received the Medal of Honor, reflecting the often-used phrase, A marine has never taken a hill beyond the sight of a military medic. He also noted that selfless acts of heroism by military medical personnel could be found in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.
In presenting the award, retired Army colonel and Medal of Honor recipient, Jack Jacobs, said, We have always cared about every human life and used extraordinary means to save everyone possible that is one of our nations great strengths. Dr. Hank McKinnell, Pfizer chairman and CEO, was a co-presenter of the award. Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, and Thomas Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, have accepted previous awards from the foundation on behalf of the Defense Department, its members and contributions to America.
The goal of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which consists exclusively of recipients of the Medal of Honor, supported by the foundation, is to reach out to the citizens of America to promote an awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans through courage, sacrifice and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of history.