Three GC students awarded the Medal of Heroism

Anthea Hankins, Alex medley, and Tanner Smith receiving the Medal of Heroism

Anthea Hankins, Alex medley, and Tanner Smith receiving the Medal of Heroism

Three GCHS Army JROTC cadets were awarded the Medal of Heroism on February 17th, 2022 for their actions in the aftermath of the EF4 December tornado. 

JROTC students Anthea Hankins, Alex Medley, and Tanner Smith were the three students rewarded for their heroic actions following the December 10th tornado.

“In order to receive the medal it had to be a situation where the person being recommended went above and beyond what the average person would have done in the same situation,” said Colonel Caldwell. “So most people in Graves County that night didn’t go to the candle factory, and most didn’t stay until 2 AM. Many didn’t do what those three did that night.”

“All three I submitted were approved,” said Colonel Caldwell. “This was the first time this award has been given out nationwide since the Florida High School Shooting (Stoneman Douglas High School) back in 2018. So it’s a really big honor!”

All three students made an appearance at the candle factory that night, but they continued their efforts long after the tornado hit.

“We gave out multiple generators, made countless drives back and forth, dropping off food, blankets, and heaters to people’s homes, or what was left of a home. Not only did I make a difference, but my whole family did,” said Hankins. “We all worked together to pull people out of the candle factory and provide for many families day after day until we weren’t really needed any longer.”

These students made a big difference in helping out families and everyone in the community.

Medley said, “This was most definitely something I have never seen, felt, or experienced in my lifetime. There was more civilian help and volunteers retrieving people from rubble than first responders. It was truly humbling and releasing to know that when given a hard time. Determined men and women rise to the challenge.”

Even though Mayfield was devastated by this natural disaster, these students were courageous and showed the utmost care for their hometown.