Florida school shooting: Army awards medals to JROTC cadets

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Alaina Petty, Martin Duque, and Peter Wang, students and JROTC cadets at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., are receiving the US Army's Medal of Heroism, CNN reported.

The Medal of Heroism is a US military decoration awarded to JROTC cadets whose actions "involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage", according to the Army.

"He was pointing the door open for other people to escape and then he was struck by the bullets", classmate and friend Aiden Ortiz told ABC affiliate WPLG. Wang's family was slated to receive the medal during his Tuesday memorial service.

The medal was also presented to the family of 14-year-old Alaina Petty at her memorial service on Monday.

Duque's family will be presented with his medal during a service Saturday.

The JROTC program in the school where these heroes died is one of 28 schools that have an average annual enrollment of 7,650 students.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. Military Academy, known as West Point, posthumously offered admission to Wang for his heroic actions during the shooting.

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"The achievement must be an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding that it clearly sets the individual apart from fellow students", the commendation notes.

As of Tuesday morning, an online petition to have Wang buried with full military honors had received more than 40,500 signatures.

The Army said it bestows the award on those who perform an act of heroism that "involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage". The page has raised almost $40,000 of its $10,000 goal as of Tuesday afternoon.

Maddox added that awards for other cadets are going through the review process, but that the Army's focus is "supporting the funerals and dignity and honor so deserved by these cadets and their families".

One can never truly measure the potential destination that Wang and the other two JROTC cadets' life pathway would have taken them.

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