Norfolk Resident Honored by Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Norfolk resident Jennifer DeLuca has received the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s highest citizen honor.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society has awarded one of its highest citizen honors to Jennifer DeLuca, executive director of the Fisher House Boston.
A Norfolk resident, DeLuca was honored with the Society’s national “Service Act Award” during the 2023 awards ceremony held in Arlington, VA. The ceremony took place on March 25, National Medal of Honor Day.
“To be receiving this award from the Medal of Honor Society is the greatest gift I have ever received,” DeLuca said.
Every year since 2007, a nationwide search is conducted to select five U.S. citizens and one organization to receive the Citizen Honors Awards. The Awards are one of the numerous ways the Congressional Medal of Honor Society fulfills its mission to promote the values embodied by the Medal: courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship.
DeLuca was selected for her work as executive director of Fisher House Boston, which provides free housing for military members and their families while a loved one is receiving inpatient treatment at one of Boston’s medical centers. Active, veteran, and retired military and their families can stay comfortably – at no cost – at nearby hotels or one of the Fisher House Boston’s two apartments.
“The model that Jen uses is cutting edge,” said Major Gen. Gary Keefe, the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, and a board member of Fisher House Boston. He added, “She’s just one of the most selfless people you’ll ever meet.”
Other Fisher House organizations throughout the country provide free military housing for those receiving care at VA hospitals. DeLuca’s program differs, however, because it offers the free housing for those receiving care at Boston’s world-renowned facilities.
“Jennifer DeLuca truly has set a new standard of care for families here in Boston,” added Dave Coker, president of the national Fisher House Foundation.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren applauded DeLuca as “an exemplary illustration of a life truly dedicated to public service.”
“I am so happy to know that Massachusetts veterans and their families have Jennifer DeLuca as a strong advocate across every sector of our state,” Warren said. “People like Jennifer are what makes Massachusetts so special.”
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society created its annual awards to encourage others to recognize acts of heroism and selfless service. Nominations go through two rounds of judging. A panel assembled by the Society considers all nominations and selects 20 national finalists. Then, a second panel made up exclusively of Medal of Honor Recipients—Americans whose actions have truly defined the words “courage” and “selfless service”—selects individuals and organizations from those finalists to receive the Citizen Honors Awards.
“Ordinary people do extraordinary things,” said Leroy Petry, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “There are inspiring acts of service, sacrifice, and heroism happening every day all over our country. Service and sacrifice don’t require wearing a military uniform.”
DeLuca’s Citation reads: “Jennifer DeLuca is known as a visionary who has used her understanding of the veteran community, as well as the private, public, and political sectors, to make a positive impact on the lives of veterans and their families. She has done so through various acts of kindness and spearheading the creation of unique programs for Fisher House of Boston, where she is the Executive Director. She embodies the Fisher House of Boston mission “to ease the burden of military veterans and their families during illness or injury” and goes above and beyond for our military and their families. Jennifer’s service reflects favorably on her, her family, and people across the nation.”