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DOJ Press Release letterhead

For Immediate Release
Monday, March 22, 2004
Contact: Joan LaRocca


     WASHINGTON, D.C. - Deputy Attorney General James Comey and Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum honored the recipients of the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor during a public ceremony at the Department of Justice. The six recipients of the award represent fire, police and emergency medical services from across the nation. The Medal is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer, honoring outstanding heroic deeds performed above and beyond the call of duty.

     "Your sacrifice to our nation is inspiring," said Deputy Attorney General Comey. "You have proven your commitment to keeping our citizens safe by willingly risking your own safety and lives. This is the ultimate act of patriotism," he said.

     Prior to this afternoon's ceremony at the Justice Department, President Bush met with the Medal of Valor recipients at the White House.

     The recipients of the 2003-2004 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor are: James Ahern of Boston, MA; John Ahern of Boston, MA; Kevin Fitzhenry of Bayonne, NJ; Michael Muniz of San Antonio, TX; Barry J. Ralston of Amarillo, TX; and Marcus Young of Ukiah, CA. A description of the acts of valor is attached.

     The Medal, authorized by the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, is awarded by the President to public safety officers cited by the Attorney General. Public safety officers are nominated by the chiefs or directors of their employing agencies and recommended by the Medal of Valor Review Board. More information about the Board members can be found on

     Additional information about the award, including the design and image of the Medal of Valor and the application form can be found at

     Media should contact the Office of Justice Programs, Office of Communications at 202-307-0703.