Steve Hill and Jason Nelson's heroic actions in Lake City, FL
The men in this video embody the spirit of National Heroes Day.
L.A. Judge Craig Mitchell: Rebuilding Lives, One Step At A Time
Five years ago, Los Angeles Criminal Courts Judge Craig Mitchell (pictured above in tank top) founded the Skid Row Running Club, which is now the subject of a new documentary, Skid Row Marathon that just won both the Audience Award and Best Doc at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Early in his life, Mitchell actually considered becoming a priest but went into law instead. Still, he found a way to do God’s work: Before going to work, he goes down to L.A.'s infamous Skid Row and gathers together those battling to maintain sobriety from drug and alcohol addiction (which is heroic itself). And they run. The Club helps them get their confidence back and maintain sobriety. Mitchell then pushes them to get into shape and takes them to run marathons around the globe. His thinking is that one cannot run a marathon without discipline -- and that means maintaining sobriety. Through the Running Club, he has helped scores of people overcome addiction and homelessness. One was a musician whose career and life was decimated by heroin. He lost 100 pounds and is now a second-year student at San Francisco’s Conservatory of Music, recently scoring his feature film soundtrack. Another is a single mother who went back to school and is now a surgical nurse in Seattle. We -- and the hundreds who he has helped get back on their feet – salute Judge Craig Mitchell.
-- nominated by Judge Paul Suzuki (photo, courtesy of Skid Row Marathon)
8 Year-Old Jayda Bell Saves Sister, Baby Niece In Sherwood, AR
Jayda Bell sprang into action after her 23 year-old sister Kindalynn had a seizure while driving with her and her two year-old niece on an Arkansas highway. With Kindalynn unable to function, Jayda was scared but kept her head and managed to push her sister's foot down on the brake to stop the car. "I told her don't die on me because she's my favorite sister, of course ... she's been my whole life," Jayda said. After the car came to a stop, the brave girl put the car into neutral, jumped out and got her baby niece out of the car seat to safety. When the car began to roll a little, Jayda used her body to try to stop it and called 911. Kindalynn calls Jayda her Guardian Angel. We call her a true hero.
(Photo, courtesy of the Bell family).
Patricia Maisch, Bill Badger, Roger Salzgeber, Three Of Many Hereos Who Saved Lives In Tucson, AZ
Patricia Maisch, the late Bill Badger (in photo) and Roger Salzgeber were at the Safeway grocery store in Tucson when a gunman opened fire, killing 5 adults and nine-year old Christina-Taylor Green during a meet and greet with U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (one of 13 injured that day). Badger, a 74 year-old retired Army Colonel and Salzgeber -- who just witnessed his friend Gabe Zimmerman get shot in the head and killed -- didn't hesitate. Salzgeber turned and ran headlong towards the gunman without a thought about his own safety and he and Badger (who had been shot) tackled the shooter, both nearly landing on Maisch as she lay on the ground. Maisch then grabbed the ammo clip away from the shooter. Prior to, Mary Reed was shot three times covering her daughter. Dorwan Stoddard died while trying to shield his wife. Kenneth Dorushka was shot after he pushed his wife out of the line of gunfire, and George Morris was shot as he tried to save his wife who died. Bystander Joseph Zamudio then joined Badge, Salzgeber and Maisch in holding the killer on the ground until law enforcement arrived. Across the parking lot, a 20-year old intern named Daniel Hernandez tended to Giffords and kept her alive by propping her up so she didn't choke on her own blood. There were many other heroes that day as well. We honor them all.
-- nominated by Caren Teves
Father's Day Featured Hero: Father Chris Lucas, 27, Died Saving 18 Lives In Joplin, MO
This Father's Day, we honor Chris Lucas, who would have been 33 this year. A hero who is now a Guardian Angel to his family.
Tim Medvetz, N.J. Native, Helping To Heal Combat-Injured Veterans
Tim Medvetz knows first-hand about descending into hell with pain and depression and how hard it is to climb back out. After being severely injured from a motorcycle accident, the former Hell's Angel member ended up in the hospital with two metal plates (and 20 screws) in his head, a steel mesh cage between his vertebrae, screws in his hand and knee and underwent 13 surgeries (seven screws) to reattach and save his left foot. He could have given up, but he didn't. During a hard convalescence, he was inspired by a book he read about the climb to Mt. Everest and was determined not only to survive but to climb that mountain. Remarkably, years later, he succeeded and has since climbed the highest mountain in each continent. Now, as co-founder of The Heroes Project, he works one on one with America's combat-injured war veterans to help bring them back in mind, body and spirit by conquering the mountain before them -- and inside of them.
-- nominated by retired USMC PFC Isaac Blunt, a hero himself seen in the photo (above) in front of Medvetz on his way to the summit of Mt. Everest.
Shanta Jordan Puts Herself Between Boy And Speeding Car, Bridgeport, CT
Shanta Jordan was seriously injured in Bridgeport, CT when she jumped in front of an oncoming, careening car in an effort to save a little boy from being killed. The out of control car slammed into Jordan whose body took most of the impact against a brick wall. Had it not been for her selfless act, the little boy (who is under 10 years old) would not have survived. Both are in the hospital as of June 10, 2017, but are going to survive. We pray for you both. Ms. Jordan, thank you for your bravery and selflessness.
Gloria Lewis, Angel To Homeless and Hungry In Ft. Lauderdale
Gloria Lewis is a waitress from Barbados who now lives in Ft. Lauderdale. Out of her modest home with the help of her husband and son, she began Care in Action USA and every single week, she prepares almost 500 nutritious meals for the local homeless. She puts the meals in styrofoam containers and includes a proverb or a quote from the Bible along with them to bring not only food but also hope to those less fortunate. She puts the meals into her car on Saturdays and Sundays and spends each day handing out meals and praying with the men and women. She has no big funding or sponsors, but still she works to bring love and hope so people know that they have not been forgotten.
-- nominated by Rotimi Rainwater, director of "Lost In America," a powerful, new feature documentary about our country's homeless youth. (Photo by Rotimi Rainwater)
85 Year-Old Lindell Marbut Pulls Two Women To Safety In Burleson, TX
Lindell Marbut, who uses a cane to walk, acted quickly when a car took a turn too fast, hit a curb and it ended up upside down and burning on his front lawn in Burleson, TX. While his caretaker Sondra Young ran inside to call 911, Lindell pulled the 22 year-old driver out of the car and into the garage. Then he went right back to the burning car and began hitting on the window with his cane to try to smash the window to get the passenger out. Together with his caretaker, they pulled the second woman to safety before firefighters arrived.