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(left to right) Officer Sam Hay (Oceanside PD) - Kevin Johnstone (Commander, American Legion Post 146, Oceanside) - James Johnson (President, Oceanside Elks Lodge 1561) - Officer Brannon Heathman (Oceanside PD) “Medal of Valor recipients Officer Sam Hay and Officer Brannon Heathman land the leaders of Oceanside American Legion Post 146, Commander Kevin Johnstone, and Oceanside Elks Lodge 1561 James Johnson wearing their newly awarded medals. (Photo: Kevin Johnstone)

Oceanside American Legion Post 146 Honors Local Heroes

Awards presented to public safety personal for extraordinary acts of bravery

Oceanside CA— American Legion Post 146, Oceanside, CA presented awards and medals to seven members of the public safety community in a dinner and awards ceremony on March 24th at the Elks Lodge in Oceanside.

Awards for Meritorious Service were presented to Officer Samantha Alexander of the Carlsbad Police Department and Firefighter/Paramedic Chad Cox of the Oceanside Fire Department.  The Medal of Heroism was presented to Detective Erik Ellgard of the Oceanside Police Department and a Citizens Medal for Heroism was presented to Eric Osterberg of Carlsbad.

The American Legion’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, presented to members of the Public Safety Community for putting risking their life to save another was presented to three Oceanside Police Officers, Brannan Heathman, Sam Hay and Rick Irwin.  These officers entered burning homes to rescue occupants while on duty.

“This event is the most anticipated event of the year” said Kevin Johnstone, Commander, American Legion Post 146. “It gives us an opportunity to honor these brave men and women who routinely risk their lives for the citizens of their communities.  They deserve praise and recognition and we, as Veterans and Legionnaires, are proud to salute their dedication and professionalism.”

Click on image to enlarge photo and begin slideshow. Photos: Kevin Johnstone

Partnership – American Legion and Elks

For the forth time, American Legion Post 146 officially partnered on this event with the Elks Lodge #1561 in Oceanside.  For several years the Elks have been a huge supporter of the Law and Order Awards, going so far as to provide their facility and food service for the event, as well as presenting their own awards to each of the honorees.

“Our Organizations share many common goals and very near the top of that list is our desire to recognize and reward members of our public safety community for outstanding contributions and acts,” said James Johnson, President, Oceanside Elks Lodge. “This is a great opportunity that we look forward to repeating annually”

About the American Legion

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

About the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

Elks Lodges bring so much more to their communities than just a building, golf course or pool. They are places where neighbors come together, families share meals, and children grow up.  Elks invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet need, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans.  Founded in 1868 the Elks is one of the leading fraternal orders in the U.S., claiming nearly one million members.