American Red Cross to honor area heroes

Jon Smith (right), one of the individuals being honored by the Red Cross on March 29 | Photo courtesy of the Jon Smith Show, Canyon Media.

ST. GEORGE – The American Red Cross in Southern Utah announces its 2012 Heroes Award Recipients on Thursday, March 29, at the Best Western Abbey Inn in St. George.

The 2012 American Red Cross Southern Utah Heroes Award Recipients are:

Quentin Murdock is a World War II decorated veteran who served with courage and honor, earning a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, three Presidential Unit Citations, European Theater with Five campaigns medal, Combat Infantry Badge, the D-Day Medal, and the Victory Medal. He was involved in some of the fiercest battles of World War II – including being in the early waves of soldiers to go ashore on Omaha Beach. He underwent many trials in the service of our country during his 700 days of active duty, including being under enemy fire repeatedly and contracting malaria. After the war he became a farmer and is one of the pioneers of the above-ground sprinkler system. He also devised an innovative way to use potato waste products to feed cattle. For his impressive contributions in the areas of both military service and agricultural innovation, he will receive the 2012 Lifetime Hero Award. 

Roger Graves is the Utah State Coordinator for the Missing in America Project Launched nationwide in January, 2007, the MIAP locates, identifies and inters the unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans.  Coordinating with private, state, and federal organizations, its ultimate goal is to secure a final resting place for these forgotten heroes who have served this country, and to make sure their funerals are executed with full military honors. He will receive the 2012 Adult Good Samaritan Award.

Jon Smith is the Morning Show host with Canyon Media’s 95.9 KZHK.  In 2011, he traded in his microphone for an infantry combat helmet, and set out for Iraq. Broadcasting the entire journey live on the radio, Jon was embedded with the members of the Utah Army National Guard’s 222nd Field Artillery and 213th Forward Support Company.  He stayed connected with his audience via satellite phone and Facebook updates.

He also rallied community support from over 700 members of his community, who signed a banner which he presented to the troops. He will receive the 2012 Community Samaritan Hero Award.

John Brian, a volunteer member of the Washington City fire division, was involved in a medical call involving a 3-year-old girl whose finger was stuck in a hole in a wood-burning stove. For over an hour they tried several non-invasive methods to free her finger with none of them working.  They finally decided to cut the corner of the stove off and transport her to the hospital with a piece of the stove still attached to her finger.  John held and comforted her during the transport.  At the hospital, doctors were unable to free her finger from the stove, and felt that amputating her finger might be their only option. John remembered a tool he had at home that he thought might work to free her finger. He retrieved it, and was able to free her finger without damaging it. She has fully recovered. He will receive the 2012 First Responders Hero award.

Sean Sevy traveled to India in 2011 to work on an important project through HELP International.  His focus was to help build and install innovative sewage treatment systems in some of India’s poorest areas that were lacking any sort of waste management system. The lack of such a system caused many illnesses, some life-threatening. Sean overcame language barriers and the resistance of local people to learning modern methods of construction. Despite the difficulties, he remained cheerful and positive and formed many friendships. He will receive the 2012 International Hero Award.   


Jessee Brown – On July 2011, Jessee Brown and Ammon Puriri were at Jessee’s annual family reunion at Lake Powell.  There was an accident involving a boat and Jet Skis. Ammon’s leg was caught in the boat’s propeller and was severely lacerated from ankle to knee.  Jessee acted quickly to get Ammon out of the water.  He wrapped his leg with towels and squeezed it tight to his chest.  Faced with the fact that they were many miles from medical facilities, he did all he could do to stop the bleeding and keep Ammon calm.  Jessee held Ammon’s leg to his chest for the next hour and a half until the life flight arrived.  Ammon is alive today and walking because of the bravery of his friend Jessee Brown. He will receive the 2012 Water Rescue Hero Award.

Susan Little, a Kanab resident, and a nurse supervisor for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, left late for lunch from the Panguitch office. Arriving at the local Arby’s/Chevron, she and a coworker noticed the front doors of the station wide open. Inside was a local man lying on the floor. After determining that the man had no pulse, Susan began CPR, ultimately reviving him. She will receive the 2012 Medical Rescue Hero Award.

Dan Greathouse, a decorated war hero, is president of the Vietnam Veterans Southern Utah Chapter. Dan leads a monthly group discussion and provides ongoing support of Vietnam veterans.  He has found this to be extremely beneficial to the well-being of the soldiers since most have never spoken about their war experiences. Dan also advises current military men and women, as well as the older veterans.  He is responsible for coordinating the donation of adaptive equipment for veterans with physical disabilities and supporting veteran families during the holidays.  He regularly speaks to students in middle school about his experience in Vietnam. He will receive the 2012 Military Hero Award.

Chris Deardon and Ray Trujillo.  On August 5, 2011, a man fell from his horse and lost consciousness in a remote area of Pine Valley Mountain. Iron County Ambulance paramedics Chris Deardon and Ray Trujillo joined forces with search and rescue teams to come to the man’s aid. Separating, they travelled by foot and on 4x4s for several hours to reach the man. With limited medical supplies and with poor communications capabilities they finally arrived at the scene of the accident. They stabilized the man, and watched over him until he could be transported to a hospital by Life Flight. They will receive the 2012 Wilderness Rescue Award.

Kody Allen, a sophomore in high school, was snowmobiling in Idaho with family in March 2011. The weather suddenly and drastically changed causing the team of snowmobilers to become disoriented.  They got trapped in a ravine, with a 15 foot drop to a river.  One of the individuals hit a hole and was thrown into the river, breaking through the ice.  The snowmodiler was helped pulled from the river. Kody built a snow cave which allowed the group to survive overnight in minus-22 degree weather. He will receive the 2012 Youth Good Samaritan Hero Award.

The annual Heroes Recognition Event serves as a fundraiser for American Red Cross chapters throughout the state of Utah. Tickets to attend this important and inspiring event are available for the general public, and provide a wonderful opportunity to support the American Red Cross at a moving and important event.

What:                   American Red Cross Heroes Recognition Event
When:                  12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 29, 2012
Where:                 Best Western Abbey Inn, 1129 South Bluff St., St. George, Utah

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at For more information contact Margie Woodruff at 435.668.2210 or [email protected].

This event is sponsored by Sponsored by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Smith’s Food and Drug Stores, and Wells Fargo Bank on Thursday, March 29,2012, at the Best Western Abbey Inn in St. George.

The Southern Utah Heroes were chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of: Sherriff Cory Pulsipher, Washington County Sherriff; Dave Hawk, SERVPRO of St. George; Nina Heck, Oh My Heck Marketing; Splendor Sargent, Cherry Creek Radio Cares; Christina Schultz, Dixie State College; Paula Bell, Community Volunteer.

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