Jacksonville resident and retired U.S. Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chris Hedgcorth was named a recipient of the Vigiano Family Hope and Courage award at the 10th annual Hope For The Warriors Got Heart Give Hope Gala in Washington, DC, Oct. 23.
Hedgcorth was one of three Vigiano Family Hope and Courage award winners, presented by award-winning actor/humanitarian Gary Sinise and retired U.S. Marine Col. Barney Barnum Jr. Hedgcorth was recognized for his service and leadership to Hope For The Warriors and his fellow wounded service members.
“I’m honored to be counted among the people who have helped Hope For The Warriors help (service members),” said Hedgcorth. “Having had the pleasure of meeting John Vigiano Sr., in New York, near the site of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, it’s an even greater honor to receive this award. John and the Vigiano Family have left a legacy of sacrifice for this country that I hope to continue to honor by advising Hope For The Warriors and pushing for critical accountability, structure and purpose for wounded service members.
Named in honor of the Vigiano family, who lost both of their sons in the September 11th attacks, the Hope and Courage Awards are presented to service members and military family members who have demonstrated both hope and courage in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
Hedgcorth grew up in a military family in Rhode Island native. He enlisted after high school and would go on to serve for 26 years, with deployments in Panama, Operation Desert Storm, the Balkans and Iraq. Sidelined from combat in 2004 by a shrapnel injury to his knee, he continued to use this injury as a catalyst for his passion of providing the best possible care to wounded service members by working as the operations officer for the Wounded Warrior Battalion East and as an advisor to Hope For The Warriors.
“When Hope For The Warriors first formed aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hedgcorth played a huge role in advising us on exactly what wounded service members and their families needed,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors co-founder and CEO. “On top of that critical advice, he was also there to assist and support as we launched our first fundraising event, Run For The Warriors, and continues to provide support and advice more than 13 years later.”