Three hundred Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) students had the privilege of hearing from two Medal of Honor recipients: Captain Florent Groberg and Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris. The decorated war veterans talked with students about decision-making and overcoming all odds.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation partnered with MPS’ Department of College & Career Readiness to host the event as part of the middle and high school Character Development Program (CDP), which provides opportunities for students to “explore the important concepts of courage, commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity and citizenship and how these values can be exemplified in daily life.” The visit coincided with the Medal of Honor Convention that was held on October 4–8 in Minneapolis.
Awarded by the President of the United States on behalf of Congress, the Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military decoration. It is bestowed upon a member of the Armed Forces for gallantry and bravery in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Because of the nature of the award, it is often awarded posthumously — of 3,498 recipients, there are only 77 living.
The meet and greet was scheduled with the Medal of Honor recipients from 9-11 a.m. at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota.
Those interested can learn more about MPS’ college and career readiness efforts at ccr.mpls.k12.mn.us. More can be learned about the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and award recipients at themedalofhonor.com.
The Meal of Honor recipients that met with the 300 MPS students were Captain Florent Groberg and Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris.
Captain Florent Groberg
Born in France to an American father and French-Algerian mother, Captain Groberg moved with his family to the United States and became a U.S. citizen in 2001. He did not speak English until he was 11 years old. In May 2006, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He served in the U.S. Army during the War in Afghanistan, where in August 2012 he was severely injured while containing a suicide bomber. His efforts saved the lives of multiple soldiers. On Nov. 12, 2015, Captain Groberg was presented the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama for his heroic action in Afghanistan.
Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris
Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris was raised in Oklahoma. In 1959, Sergeant Morris joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard and later joined the active Army. He excelled in the military, becoming one of the first Green Berets in 1961. Sergeant Morris received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Sept. 17, 1969. Sergeant Morris led an advance across enemy lines to recover the body of a fallen soldier and vital information. Sergeant Morris single-handedly confronted an enemy force. During the assault, Sergeant Morris was shot three times and continued to fight. He received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on March 18, 2014.