Fox Nation's second annual Patriot Awards hit the streaming service on Friday and master of ceremonies Pete Hegseth felt Hollywood can learn from the show that hands out “real awards for real heroes.”
“It’s not fake congratulatory awards to people playing fake people on TV. It’s the opposite of a Hollywood awards show, where actors give awards to each other while giving overtly anti-American speeches,” Hegseth said. “This is, quite literally, the most patriotic awards show in America.”
The show featured a performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Clint Black, Easton Corbin, Jessie James Decker, Phil Vassar, Tyler Farr, Thompson Square and Natalie Grant, while John Rich performed his new single “Earth to God” in honor of first responders and Lee Greenwood played “God Bless the U.S.A.”
The coronavirus pandemic made the second annual Patriot Awards a virtual event, but appropriate tribute was still paid to nine of America’s heroes who have shown steadfast dedication to their country:
Egard Watch Co. founder and CEO Ilan Srulovicz took home the Patriot Award for Courage after growing the company he started to honor his father to an internationally recognized brand. The first-generation American has been outspoken about standing up for American values and has used his brand and career as a platform to propel positive, humanizing and pro-America messages.
Srulovicz also hosts “Speak Truth USA,” a channel dedicated to preserving the founding principles of this country. He holds honest, in-depth interviews with members of law enforcement, first responders, and free speech advocates.
Entrepreneur Phillip Blanks, a former Marine who deployed twice, and Kontraband Entertainment CEO and founder D’Artagnan Alexander were honored with the Patriot Award for Heroism for rescuing eight-year-old Roxxi Long and her three-year-old brother Jameson from a deadly Arizona apartment fire this past summer. At one point during the rescue, Jameson's mother -- who perished in the blaze -- threw her son from a balcony in an effort to spare him from the flames. Jameson was caught by Blanks, a former high school football player.
During the show, Blanks and Alexander announced that they had donated $5,000 to set up a scholarship for Roxxi and Jameson. Fox News contributor Dan Bongino announced that he would match that donation.
The Patriot Award for the Modern Warrior recipient, Army Capt. John J. Klein III, is a United States Army Signal Company Commander for Charlie Company with the 834th Aviation Support Battalion, 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. He returned home from an 11-month deployment to the Middle East, where he commanded the Brigade Signal Company in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) with teams at nine different locations through for countries.
Klein surprised his wife Veronica and the couple's three sons, the youngest of whom was born while he was deployed.
Service to Veterans
Patriot Award for Service to Veterans recipient Mary Peter has been working to save the lives of dogs and provide loving homes for our furry friends since 1987 and has an extensive history of dog training and rehabilitation. She founded K9 Partners for Patriots in 2013, which provides service dogs to veterans at no cost.
Patriot Award for the Unsung Hero honoree Sidney Walton joined the Army at the age of 21, nine months before Pearl Harbor. Walton, now 101, has been traveling the country with the goal of meeting all 50 governors and anyone who wants to meet a World War II veteran before it’s too late. So far, he has visited 35 governors and met with President Trump in the Oval Office.
Award for Young Patriot
Nine-year-old Tyler Stallings raised more than $100,000 to buy essentials for homeless, elderly, ill and disabled veterans after being inspired to help after watching a YouTube video. He regularly works to raise awareness of the issue of veteran homelessness.
Wesley Crespi owns Coffee Cabin in Parker, Colo., which offers a gift card that customers can contribute to and allows police officers, firefighters and other local heroes to score free coffee and pastries. The brother of a New York City police detective, Crespi proudly flies the American and Thin Blue Line flags at his store.
Most Valuable Patriot
Educational entrepreneur Dr. Kenneth Hartman has served as a university president, professor, senior academic administrator, and consultant at several leading universities. He is the author of numerous books and scholarly publications on higher education and internet marketing and is an active presenter at industry conferences.
He founded “Our Community Salutes” in 2009 to recognize and honor graduating high school seniors in Southern New Jersey who plan to enlist in the military immediately after graduation.
The Patriot Awards -- sponsored by SERVPRO – took place virtually on Friday, Nov. 20 and was streamed live on Fox Nation. An encore presentation is scheduled on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network on Sunday, Nov. 22.
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