War Heroes Gather in Gainesville

4-1-05 – Eleven recipients of The Army’s highest honor are gathered in Gainesville. The Medal of Honor Host City asked the war heroes to visit with local children and share their stories.

"They're very bright, they're very smart, and they’re wide-eyed. They want to know what's going on. They ask some very good questions," said Drew Dix - a1968 recipient of the Medal of Honor.

The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force.

This week, medal recipients from all over the country gathered to share stories and visit the community. However, the meeting is bittersweet. One recipient, George O’Brian of Midland, did not make the trip. He passed away three weeks ago.

Today, there are only 125 Medal of Honor recipients living and that number is dwindling.

"We lost four this past month. The 2nd world war guys are dying off...and all the world war one guys are gone," said Don Ballard – a 1970 recipient.

Monday, President Bush will award a medal of honor to a solider who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Medal of Honor Host City Program began three years ago in Gainesville.