On Thursday, April 5, 2001 the regular coffee meeting of the Big Bend/Tallahassee FHP Retirees was held at Tandem Health Care, where Colonel Hall presented Retired Major Russ Garris with the FHP Purple Heart and the Medal of Valor. Russ was presented with the awards for his actions on the night of September 4, 1953 near Ft. Myers when he shot and killed an ex-convict after he had been shot by the criminal. The ex-convict, Ernest Moore, had been on a crime and killing spree that had taken him and his partner from Atlanta to Jacksonville and Miami before they killed a couple in Ft. Myers, just before being stopped by Garris for improper vehicle equipment.
The presentation obviously cheered Russ and he reacted in a very positive fashion. He continues to show gradual improvement and we are all hoping for a complete and full recovery.
Shown presenting the award to Major Garris is Colonel Hall and Lt. Colonel Billy Dickson.