DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Medal of Honor recipients, our country’s greatest heroes, were honored in Charleston on Tuesday.
Veterans, like retired CPL. Michael Jernigan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps., was among those honored. He lost his vision after being wounded 17 years ago and now helps other veterans cope with being blind or visually impaired.
“Being blind and visually impaired is like hitting a brick wall for most people, especially veterans, and to be able to stand next to somebody and assist them to get through that brick wall – either over it, around it, or through it – is rewarding. You know, it’s how I feel myself and how I get my therapy is by helping others,” said Jernigan.
He serves as President of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation and his mission is to give back.
“It’s a disability unlike others,” said Jernigan. He said it’s other veterans who took him under their wing and taught him how to be successful in his recovery.
“I think it’s [what] drives me to do it for others … the fact that it was done for me, and I want to be the person that can lead somebody else,” said Jernigan.
There were 20 Medal of Honor recipients in Charleston this week paying tribute to those who have gone above the call of duty and now Jernigan is one of several people to receive the Medal of Honor Society Service Act Award from those heroes.
“It is an honor that is almost impossible to believe,” said Jernigan.
The Veteran is healing others along the way. “When two blind people find each other in the dark it’s amazing,” he said with a laugh.
On Wednesday those veterans will be honored with a special dinner at Charleston Place.