U.S. Army Awards ‘Heroism Medals’ to 3 JROTC Students Killed in Florida High School Shooting

Alaina Petty, Peter Wang, Martin Duque
Instagram, Facebook, AP

The U.S. Army is honoring three Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets killed in the Florida high school shooting Wednesday with medals for heroism.

The U.S. Army announced Tuesday that Alaina Petty, Martin Duque, and Peter Wang—who were all students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and also served as cadets in the school’s JROTC program—would receive JROTC Heroism Medals for their acts of bravery during Wednesday’s shooting.

Army spokesman Michael Maddox said that Petty’s family had been presented with the award at her funeral Monday, and Wang’s family received the award during his funeral service Tuesday. Duque’s family will accept the medal at his funeral service Saturday.

More than 1,500 people attended Petty’s funeral service Monday.

Wang’s family requested that he be laid to rest in his JROTC uniform at his funeral service Tuesday, according to an Army spokesperson. The 15-year-old was in his uniform when he was shot trying to help his classmates.

“The JROTC Heroism medal will be on his uniform, but a second ‘keepsake’ medal,” will be given to the Wang family, Maddox said.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point gave the late cadet a posthumous offer of admission, although many people have called for the U.S. military to give Wang a military funeral. A petition posted to WhiteHouse.gov urged the U.S. military to give Wang a full military funeral with honors.

Maddox added that awards for other cadets are going through the review process, but that the Army’s focus is “supporting the funerals and dignity and honor so deserved by these cadets and their families.”

The Medal of Heroism is a U.S. military decoration awarded to JROTC cadets whose actions “involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage,” according to the Army.

Nikolas Cruz, an ex-JROTC member, is accused of killing the three cadets when he opened fire at the school Wednesday. Seventeen people died in the shooting.


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