Louisville veteran receives prestigious citizen medal of honor - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville veteran receives prestigious citizen medal of honor

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Troy Yocum Troy Yocum
The front side of the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors medal. The front side of the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors medal.
The reverse side of the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors medal. The reverse side of the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honors medal.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A local veteran who has made its his mission to put a stop to soldier suicide and provide help for those returning from war has been given one of the most prestigious community service awards.

Troy Yocum is the founder of Active Heroes. He just returned from Washington D.C after receiving a Medal of Honor citizen award. A truly humbling experience that's how Yocum describes what it was like to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor "Citizen Honors."

"This medal is much more than me," said Yocum.

The Army veteran was chosen for this award because of all the work he's done with Active Heroes, a non profit he started after walking across America raising awareness about military suicides.

He saw first hand the after effects of war and watched many he knew deal with depression and PTSD. Active Heroes is in the process of building a retreat.

"144 acre retreat to help military families heal from the invisible wounds of war and with 22 veterans a day taking their life a place like this retreat is so needed," said Yocum.

To Yocum this medal only emphasizes his goal.

"To continue on helping veterans and their families is the most important mission that I have and this medal means hopefully I can keep doing that for the rest of my life," said Yocum.

On his way home to Louisville from D.C Yocum heard the news of the shooting at Fort Hood. He tried to speculate as to what would provoke the gunman to take such violent actions.

"There is such a thing as survivor's guilt and I think that translates into many different situations with this Fort Hood soldier I believe that he struggled with post traumatic stress just as much as a combat solider did," said Yocum.

Another reason Yocum will wear his medal proud as he hopes he can encourage all struggling soldiers that they can get help.

"The minute that we can accept the fact that war changes us and these experiences change us and then understand that opening up about it is going to be probably the best way to heal," said Yocum.

Yocum is the first citizen to receive this honor from Kentucky.

Active Heroes is currently looking for volunteers to help with the building of their retreat in Shepherdsville. For more information how you can help click here.

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